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Asparagus, Goat Cheese and Tarragon Tart

Yield: 6 to 8 servings
  • 1cup soft goat cheese, at room temperature (4 ounces)

  • 1large egg, lightly beaten, at room temperature

  • 1large garlic clove, finely grated or minced

  • 1½tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves, plus more for serving

  • ½tablespoon finely grated lemon zest

  • ½teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more for sprinkling

  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

  • 1cup crème fraîche, at room temperature (8 ounces)

  • All-purpose flour, for dusting the work surface

  • 1sheet or square all-butter puff pastry, thawed if frozen (about 9 to 14 ounces; brands vary)

  • 8ounces thin asparagus, woody ends trimmed

  • Extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2tablespoons grated Parmesan

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • Red-pepper flakes (optional)

  • 1½ounces Parmesan, shaved with a vegetable peeler (about ½ cup)

Preparation
  1. Step 1 Heat oven to 425 degrees. In a medium bowl, use a fork or a wooden spoon to mash together the goat cheese, egg, garlic, tarragon, lemon zest, salt and nutmeg until smooth. Switch to a whisk and beat in the crème fraîche until smooth.

  2. Step 2 On a lightly floured surface, roll out puff pastry into a 13-by-11-inch rectangle about ⅛-inch thick. Transfer the dough to a parchment-lined cookie sheet. With a sharp knife, lightly score a ½-inch border around the edges of the puff pastry.

  3. Step 3 Spread the crème fraîche mixture evenly inside the scored border. Line up the asparagus spears on top, and brush them with olive oil. Sprinkle some salt and the grated Parmesan over the asparagus.

  4. Step 4 Bake until the pastry is puffed and golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Let it cool on the cookie sheet for at least 15 minutes or up to 4 hours before serving. Then sprinkle black pepper, red-pepper flakes (if using), the shaved Parmesan and tarragon leaves. Drizzle a little oil on top.

TIP
  • You can assemble the tart 1 day in advance; but reserve the sprinkling of salt and grated Parmesan until right before baking. Loosely cover the tart and store it in the refrigerator until it's time to bake.


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