Sunday, October 19, 2008

Crispy and Delicious Asparagus and Potato Tart

Crispy and delicious! Any recipe with those words in the title can't possibly be bad. And it lived up to its name! It was crispy and delicious! To me at least. I loved it and plan to take it for lunches this week. He did not love it. He said it was just OK. This is probably due to the use of his much-hated phyllo dough. I figured that since it was all buttery and contained potatoes, it would be more palatable to him, but I was wrong. But I loved this and would make it again.

I used fat-free half-and-half instead of the cream, low-fat cheddar blend cheese, and only 2 Tbsp of butter. These changed worked just fine!

This is what it looked like coming out of the oven:

This is what it looked like on our plate (I cut it into a neat square!):

It went very well with a prepackaged Caesar salad.

Crispy and Delicious Asparagus and Potato Tart
Jamie Oliver, c/o

Filo pastry can be bought in all supermarkets now, yet it often gets forgotten about. You can usually find it in either the fresh or the frozen pastry sections. Next time you're out shopping, pick some up - everyone should keep some at home because it's wonderful to use as a base for sweet and savory tarts, or to wrap around cheese or spiced meat fillings. It goes really crunchy when cooked, so it's great with softer things. For this recipe, I've used it to make a quick open tart - perfect for a picnic or a simple lunch with a salad. You could even make individual ones and serve them as starters.

1 pound potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
Sea salt
1 pound asparagus spears, woody ends removed
8 ounces filo 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 (8-ounce) container heavy cream
1/4 whole 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've used many different shapes and sizes. 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 over the filo pastry, then bring up the sides of the filo 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.

Yield: 4 servings

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