Asparagus Gruyere Tart

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Tender spears of asparagus are lined up and placed on top of grated Gruyere cheese.   Use purchased puff pastry and this tart can be made fairly quickly for a terrific summer first course or luncheon entree.

Asparagus and Gruyere Puff Pastry Tart
Makes one tart serving 8

Approximately 2 to 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, for work surface
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed according to instructions on box
5 1/2 ounces (2 cups) Gruyere cheese, shredded
1 1/2 pounds thin to medium asparagus spears, cleaned and dried

Approximately 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, for sprinkling over final tart
Salt and white pepper pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly flour a work surface.   Roll the puff pastry into a 16-by-10-inch rectangle. Trim uneven edges.   Use a ruler and a pizza cutter to create nice, straight lines on your puff pastry.

Lightly spray a baking sheet pan with non-stick food spray.   Place pastry on parchment paper lined baking sheet.   If the sheet pan has sides, use the reverse side to place the parchment paper and pastry.   This will make it easier to slide off the finished tart.

With a sharp knife, lightly score pastry dough 1 inch in from the edges to mark a rectangle. Using a fork, pierce dough inside the markings at 1/2-inch intervals.  Bake until golden, about 15 minutes.

Remove pastry shell from oven.   Sprinkle with the Gruyere cheese. Trim the bottoms of the asparagus spears to fit crosswise inside the tart shell; arrange in a single layer over Gruyere, alternating ends and tips. Brush with olive oil and season lightly with salt and white pepper.   Bake until spears are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

Store-bought puff pastry works well in this savory tart; thaw it according to package instructions. Emmentaler or Fontina cheese can be substituted for the Gruyere.

 

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