Asparagus and goat’s cheese tart
- May 2020
- Serves 4-6
- Hands-on time 20 min, oven time 60-77 minutes, plus chilling and resting
Gill Meller’s deep-filled vegetarian tart with asparagus, broad beans, peas and fresh herbs is a true celebration of spring produce. Try it as a relaxed vegetarian alternative to a Sunday roast – or as part of an Easter feast.
This recipe is from Gill’s cookbook, ROOT STEM LEAF FLOWER: How to Cook with Vegetables and Other Plants (Quadrille £27).
Alternatively, make these individual tartlets filled with equally seasonal purple sprouting broccoli and wensleydale cheese.
- Vegetarian recipes
- 61.2g (36.2g saturated)
- 46.3g (4.7g sugars)
For the pastry
- 300g plain flour
- 150g unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
- 150ml chilled water
For the filling
- Large handful each fresh broad beans in the pod, peas in the pod and sugar snap peas (see swaps)
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 12 asparagus spears, trimmed
- 6 spring onions, cut into 1cm pieces
- 1 little gem lettuce, halved and sliced into ribbons
- Small handful fresh tarragon and flatleaf parsley leaves, chopped
- Handful fresh lovage, leaves only, roughly chopped (see swaps)
- 150g soft goat’s cheese
- 2 medium free-range eggs, plus 2 yolks
- 100ml whole milk
- 300ml double cream
You’ll also need…
- Food processor
- 15cm x 25cm x 5cm deep tart tin (see tip)
- Compostable baking paper
- First, make the pastry. Pulse the flour and butter in a food processor with a pinch of salt to the consistency of breadcrumbs. With the motor running, steadily add the chilled water, stopping as soon as the dough comes together. Tip out the dough, knead it a couple of times, then wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes. Remove the pastry from the fridge and let it come up to room temperature before rolling.
- Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Roll out the dough to a circle about 3mm thick and a few centimetres wider than your tart tin. Line the tin with the pastry, leaving an overhang (see Make Ahead). Prick the base, then line it with baking paper and baking beans/uncooked rice. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the beans/rice and paper and return the case to the oven for 10-12 minutes until just golden. Remove from the oven and trim the overhanging pastry. Set aside.
- For the filling: pod the beans and peas (you can leave any very small pods whole). Set a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the oil, then the asparagus. Season and cook for 2 minutes, then add the spring onions, lettuce, peas and broad beans.
- Cook for a few minutes more until the lettuce has wilted – you’ll need to toss the veg around the pan. Add the tarragon, parsley and lovage to the pan. Season again with plenty of salt and pepper, then spoon into the tart case. Dot the cheese over the top.
- Combine the whole eggs, egg yolks, milk and cream in a jug. Season and mix well, then pour the mixture over the tart filling.
- Carefully transfer the tart to the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes until it has a mottled golden top and the filling has puffed up slightly. Rest for at least 20-30 minutes before serving.
You can use a 22cm round tart case instead of a rectangular tin if you prefer.
Easy swaps: If you can’t get hold of fresh peas, use frozen garden peas. Look out for lovage at farmers’ markets, if there’s one open near you. Or, if you can get hold of seeds, lovage is easy to grow at home. Otherwise use an equal quantity of extra parsley.
Line the tart tin with pastry, then cover and chill up to a day ahead. Serve leftovers at room temperature or gently reheat until warm though.
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