Asparagus Tart with Arugula Pesto
This tart is an ideal healthful treat for any spring event with its bright green color and fresh flavors all arranged in a savory tart cheerfully browned and ready to be served family-style.
- A 14- by 4-inch rectangular tart pan with removable bottom
FOR THE TART SHELL
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 0.5 teaspoon salt
- 0.25 pound cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon water
FOR ARUGULA PESTO
- 0.2 pound arugula leaves
- 0.3 cup + 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 ounce pine nuts
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons grated dry cheese
FOR ASPARAGUS FILLING
- 0.5 pound green asparagus spears, ends snapped and cut into sections to fit the tart pan crosswise
- 0.3 cup + 2 teaspoons whipping cream
- 0.5 pound spinach, stems removed, washed and spin-dried
- 2 large eggs
- Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C.
- Make the shell: Pulse flour and salt in a food processor until combined. Add butter and zest, then pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add yolk and water, and then pulse until dough forms a ball around the blade. Turn out dough onto a work surface and knead 3 or 4 times, then flatten into a rectangle. Press dough over bottom and up sides of rectangular buttered pan in an even layer with well-floured fingers. Place tart on a cookie sheet and chill shell for 30 minutes.
- Make the asparagus filling: Steam the asparagus for about 6 minutes, leaving them crunchy; then refresh in ice cold water. Melt the spinach in a pan with a teaspoon of olive oil until soft, season with salt and pepper and drain.
- Make the arugula pesto: In a food processor, chop arugula leaves and pine nuts. Then while the machine is running, slowly add the olive oil through the funnel. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Finish the tart filling: In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and cream together until homogenized - about a minute. Squeeze out any water from the spinach, roughly chop and add to the eggs and cream mixture. Add the arugula pesto and stir together until combined.
- Build and bake the tart: Arrange the asparagus side by side crosswise on the bottom of the tart shell. Cover with the spinach mixture and sprinkle with grated cheese. Bake in preheated oven on the bottom shelf for about 35 minutes or until golden brown.