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Asparagus Goat Cheese Tart | © UrbanCottageLife.com

Asparagus Goat Cheese Tart

This recipe makes a lovely starter for dinner, or would be ideal served for lunch with a side salad of greens and local Middlesex strawberries.

I used a rectangular tart tin with a removable bottom for this tart, about 4 x 13 inches in size. If you don’t have a tin, you can make the tart on a baking tray, as explained below.

Category Appetizer, Brunch, Main Course
Keyword asparagus goat cheese tart, asparagus tart
Author © Marlene Cornelis/Urban Cottage Life.com 2017

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, halved
  • 3/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 2 or 3 pinches kosher salt divided
  • 100 g plain goat cheese
  • 1 small shallot
  • 1 lemon for zesting, scrubbed
  • 15 slender asparagus spears rinsed and drained
  • 4 sheets phyllo pastry

How To Make This Recipe

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 °F.

To Prepare the Oil for the Pastry and Asparagus

  1. Place the olive oil in a ramekin. Crush a half clove of garlic, and add it to the oil with a pinch each of black pepper and kosher salt. Set aside to steep.

To Prepare the Filling

  1. Place the goat cheese in a medium-sized bowl and break it up with a fork. Peel and mince the shallot and the other half clove of garlic, then add them to the goat cheese. Using a rasp, zest half of the lemon over the cheese. Then add 1/8 tsp of black pepper and a pinch or two of kosher salt. Stir the mixture well and set aside.

  2. Slice the woody ends off the asparagus (enough that the spears are a little shorter than twice the width of the tart tin). Then cut them in half and rinse in a colander. Drain well and transfer to a bowl.

To Prepare the Phyllo Pastry

  1. Spread the first sheet of phyllo on the counter or a large baking tray. (Cover remaining sheets with a damp towel to prevent them from drying out and becoming brittle.) Brush the oil mixture lightly over the entire sheet, making sure to cover all the edges. Lay the next sheet over top and repeat until all the sheets are oiled. (Retain the leftover oil.) Then cut the stack of phyllo into thirds width-wise. Transfer each stack to the tart tin, arranging so there’s a border of phyllo on all sides of the tin. Stir the goat cheese mixture again, then dollop it around the phyllo base. Use an offset spatula or the back of a spoon to spread it evenly.

  2. If you don’t have a tart tin, you can stack the cut phyllo sheets on a baking tray, brushing each layer with oil. There will be 12 layers in total. When you spread on the goat cheese mixture, leave a ¾-inch border around it.

To Finish Assembly

  1. Pour the remaining oil over the asparagus. Sprinkle with 1/8 tsp black pepper and a pinch of salt, and toss well. Arrange the asparagus over the goat cheese, alternating the tops and bottoms of the spears and the direction of the tips. Zest the rest of the lemon over the tart.

Bake and Serve

  1. Set the tart tin on a baking tray, and bake for 30 minutes, or until the asparagus is cooked through and the phyllo is golden brown and crispy. Serve warm. For presentation, pop out the bottom of the tin, then carefully transfer the tart to a serving platter. Or, cut it in the kitchen and serve restaurant style.

Recipe Notes