Asparagus, Cremini and Tomato Tart: Lighter Than Quiche (Unless You Eat 5 Pieces)

In recent years, I’ve become a food magazine junkie. I’ve pretty much ordered every single one over the past 10 years (no Rachael Ray & Martha Stewart mags don’t count in my world) and found that only a small handful are worth reordering (ahem, Saveur, Gourmet, Cucina Italiana, Food & Wine). One that I keep reordering but often question why is Bon Appetit. When they relaunched the magazine about a year ago with a new look I had a few opinions because I felt like the direction of the mag was changing – and not for the better. Regardless, I decided to give it a shot and, just like I do with my favorite food mags every month, I read the whole magazine – every page, cover to cover. I’ve continued to do this month after month, and month after month I feel the same way – uninspired. But one lovely and delicious-looking dish in the April 2008 issue struck me – an asparagus and ricotta tart made with puff pastry. I loved the idea of using ricotta along with the traditional quiche ingredients to make a tart. I imagined the flavor, texture and smell – I was inspired!

Asparagus, Crimini & Tomato Tart

I tweaked the original Bon Appetit recipe a bit and only had a piece of puff pastry in the freezer and some pie crusts. I will write the recipe asking you to use only puff pastry, but feel free to do what we did and roll out defrosted pie crusts, shape into a rectangle and line the outside of the tart with strips of puff pastry. It works just as well!

The taste of this tart was light and chewy. Using various different veggies and ricotta over all eggs helped me convince myself that I was eating healthy. Even after a few helpings, I knew I was kidding myself but I’ve never been one of those fools that really believed that “a moment on the lips is a lifetime on the hips”. If I did I’d be much thinner and this blog would not exist, clearly!

Btw… thanks to our friend at Serious Eats who featured this post in their “Blogwatch” section recently.   Gracias!


Asparagus, Crimini and Tomato Tart with Bib Lettuce and Fresh Cream DressingIngredients:

  • 2 sheet of thawed puff pastry (1/2 of a 17.3 oz. package)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • about 10 to 12 asparagus spears
  • 6-8 grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 6-8 cremini mushrooms (or white/brown mushrooms), sliced in half
  • 1/2 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 slices of thinly-sliced genoa salami, soppressata or other sliced cured meat of your choice
  • 2/3 cup grated Petite Jurassic cheese (or Gruyere, Swiss or Comte cheese)

Asparagus, Crimini and Tomato Tart with runny poached egg. Perfect for brunch!

What to do:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out puff pastry on floured surface and roll into a large rectangle (about the size of a long baking sheet). Cut 1/2 inch of puff pastry from each side and brush the sides with a bit of the beaten egg. Place 1/2 inch pieces all along the edges of the puff pastry tart so that the egg is the binding ingredient. Transfer to a baking sheet.
  • Steam asparagus until so it’s crisp-tender – about 2 to 3 minutes. Shock in an ice bath to keep color and texture. Chop the bottom 2 inches of the asparagus off and puree these in a food processor along with the rest of the beaten egg, ricotta, the olive oil and pinch of salt. Transfer to bowl.
  • Spread the asparagus puree on the bottom of your tart, reserving a few tablespoons. It will fill up to about 1/8 of an inch high. Make sure it is coated evenly. Nestle the pieces of salami into the puree in random places around the tart. Sprinkle your cheese around the tart as well and put your remaining tablespoons of asparagus puree over the pieces of salami (so to cover them).
  • Add your sliced grape tomatoes, asparagus spears and mushrooms to the top of the tart – make it look pretty, why not.
  • Drizzle some olive oil over the top and bake about 25 to 30 minutes or until the filling is set. Serve warm or cold along with a salad or for breakfast with a runny egg.

Check out some other posts you may enjoy:

28 thoughts on “Asparagus, Cremini and Tomato Tart: Lighter Than Quiche (Unless You Eat 5 Pieces)

  1. This looks great. I love the idea of the egg on top. I could see that with one of the more exotic egg types.

    I love my food magazines (I get Food & Wine and Eating Well) but I wish I would end up actually making the recipes in them. Everything looks good, but then I don’t make them, and my list of “must makes” piles up.

  2. rachel – it’s funny you should mention exotic egg types. we spent a frustrating couple of rain-soaked hours this weekend trawling “gourmet” stores for quail eggs (though for another purpose – to break over some quails we were confiting). it’s peculiar that it’s far easier to find duck, goose, quail, etc., than it used to be even five years ago but their eggs are still so scarce. there’s a disconnect somewhere there.

    mm(fm) – a runny egg is one of the world’s best things either mixed into a dressing, cracked over a steak or poached and eaten with a slice of tart/quiche. Egg + egg = happiness!

  3. Hi, my name is núria and I’m a food magazine addict too ;D

    Inspiration comes and goes! That’s how it is… but I’m superglad yours came in the shape of a coca :D. I can smell it from here… I would even like the cheese on it ;D.

  4. Nuria, welcome and thanks for joining Food Magazine Addicts anonymous! (by the way, muchas gracias por los compartimientos del alimento y del vino en catalano que usted envió con las pimientas y el jamón! no entiendo catala, pero puedo imaginar algunas piezas, y las picturas del alimento – que hermosas!) Is this tart a coca or are cocas made with more of a pizza-type dough?

  5. This looks delicious! I get so proud of myself when I actually make something in my “to cook” list – it’s ever-growing due to my 5 food magazine subscriptions…and inspiration such as this dish.

  6. Sweet tart Amy. I would love this for dinner, it would be light and I love having breakfast all the time. Whew, good thing you said 5 pieces, cause I would have 4 🙂

  7. mmmm.
    That is one fantastic looking tart.
    The photo of the egg takes me back to a night in Tunisia when we ate pizza with an egg cracked over the top… and it broke in lovely orange waves over the top of the pizza. Just like that.

    And it’s true. Food magazines are evil. Don’t you love it?

  8. I love using purchased puffed pastry for tarts. They make such a nice presentation, and who doesnt love buttery flakey puff pastry?
    Your tart is gorgeous.

    Regarding Bon Appetit Magazine. I no longer subrscribe, because of their new format. The font is SO SMALL I can’t read the recipes!!
    I complained the editors via email/telephone and mail and no one had the courtesy to answer me. My neighbor and sister in law also canceled their subsrciptions, and now you are mentioning it, so I know I am not crazy!

  9. I would eat a runny egg on top of an old tire, so the fact that yours is on top of that gorgeous tart really appeals to me. Great job.

    I’m embarrassed to admit that I didn’t even notice that the Bon Appetit logo had changed, but I do agree that the last few cover recipes have been uninspiring and those issues are sitting to one side.

  10. You had me at “asparagus, cremini and tomato tart,” then you had to give me the happy ending of adding cheese and a poached egg. You really know how to show a girl a good time.

  11. I LOVE savory tarts, and will be busting out some pie dough as soon as I’m over this wretched cold. My current favorite is caramelized onion, gruyère, and pine nut.

  12. Thanks for the comments, y’all. and you’re all right – egg yolk is food porn – and i’d also eat it off a spare tire!

Like this post? Hate this post? Let us know!