Recently, uber-talented blog friend Cristina from Cristina From Buenos Aires to Paris posted an Asparagus and Orange Cream Tart. It looked like it would be light and delicious with an unusual combination of an orange-flavored cream and asparagus....very appealing. I was going to make it this weekend with the lovely asparagus in the market right now. And then I got sidetracked with another tart I watched Jamie Oliver make the other day. It had me salivating. Now to the eye, one would think the two tarts were identical. But Cristina used puff pastry and the orange creme is light in texture and contained crème fraiche. Jamie's was crispy phyllo dough and plain old mashed potatoes, so comforting.....and perhaps appealing more to men? You have to admit, there is just something about this combo: potatoes mashed with whipping cream, eggs and cheese....phyllo pastry....and fresh asparagus. What's not to like? I mean really.
So I made it yesterday. What a perfect side for grilled meats or fish. Actually, I ate it for dinner, forget the protein. I hope you've worked with phyllo. If not, there are quite a few videos online that explain everything. It's really quite simple. And the soft filling of this tart balances so well with the crispiness of the phyllo.
The only changes I would make to this recipe would be to use a bit more asparagus on top AND perhaps add some sautéed scallions to the mashed potatoes.
But I promise, Cristina, I will be making your lovely tart next weekend! :) It will be absolutely perfect for some ladies I have coming for lunch.
Potato and Asparagus Tart
Recipe from Jamie at Home HERE.
1 pound potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 pound asparagus spears, woody ends removed, blanched
8 ounces phyllo pastry
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup freshly grated Lancashire cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Cheddar
3 large organic or free-range eggs
1 cup (8-ounces) heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper
Put your potatoes into a pan of salted boiling water and cook for 15 minutes. Meanwhile blanch your asparagus in a separate pan of salted boiling water for 4 minutes, and drain in a colander.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Get an ovenproof dish - I used a rectangular tart pan with a removable bottom. Layer the sheets of filo pastry in the dish, brushing them with melted butter as you go and letting about 1-inch hang over the edge. You want to get the pastry about 5 layers thick. Put a clean, damp kitchen towel over the top and put aside.
When the potatoes are done, mash them with the cheeses. In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs and cream and stir into your cheesy mashed potato. Grate in the nutmeg, season well with pepper and mix together. Spread the mashed potato (it will be looser than you expect) over the phyllo pastry, then bring up the sides of the phyllo and scrunch them together to form a rim. Take your blanched asparagus and line them up across the filling, making sure you cover it all. Brush all over with the remaining melted butter and pop into the preheated oven for around 20 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Allow to rest for 10 minutes. Serve just as you would a quiche for a quick lunch or supper, with a salad.