Sure, you love green asparagus, but what about its mysterious cousin, white asparagus? It’s tantalizing, different, and so… white.
(Fun fact: White asparagus is basically just asparagus that’s never been treated to sunshine. As such, the taste is similar to green asparagus but very mild and a little earthier.)
So when we recently came across some beautiful bundles of white asparagus, we went searching for recipes for what to do with these pale stalks. Turns out, 90 percent (that’s an unscientific estimate) of the recipes involve laying out the stalks on a plate and covering them in some kind of creamy yellow-ish sauce.
Then we thought…why not make something pretty and puffy and golden brown? And why not include some regular green asparagus too, just for a little dash of color? That’s how we arrived at this delicious savory tart. It’s basically a quiche with a filo dough crust. (And we have been known to make savory tarts out of obscure produce before).
White Asparagus Tart
A crisp and puffy golden-brown tart featuring both white asparagus and green asparagus.
- 10-12 sheets filo dough
- 1/2 cup butter melted
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup milk
- 5 eggs
- 1/2 cup gruyere cheese grated
- 6 stalks white asparagus steamed until just tender
- 8-10 stalks baby green asparagus steamed until just tender
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp ground pepper
Line the baking pan with parchment paper (this step is optional, but it makes it easier to get the tart out when it has baked). Place 2-3 sheets of filo dough at diagonals to cover the baking pan (irregular lines are fine; the dough will be covered). Brush this layer of filo dough with melted butter. Repeat with layers of filo dough and butter until all of the sheets are used up.
Whisk together the cream, milk, eggs, cheese, salt, and pepper. Pour the mixture into the filo dough-lined pan. Gently place the asparagus spears down lengthwise in the pan, alternating green and white (we used two skinny green stalks for every white stalk). Carefully fold in all of the odd pointy ends of filo dough that are sticking out, and brush the edge of the crust all the way around with butter.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes, or until golden brown and puffy (and center is intact). Let cool for 10 minutes. Gently remove tart from pan, place on a platter, and cut to serve.
When you’re making this tart, don’t get too worried about having the filo sheets perfectly lined up. As long as they’re neatly tucked in by the time the tart is filled, no one will ever see where any one individual sheet landed. No matter how you lay down the filo, you’ll end up with something perfectly golden and puffy once it’s baked.
In fact, it’s so pretty, you’ll want to serve it for a special breakfast or brunch. And it’s so tasty, you’ll want to continue eating it at dinner and beyond. Talk about a dilemma! But in our book that’s a better dilemma than, say, what to do with leftover creamy yellow sauce.
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