Provençal Asparagus Tart (Tarte aux Asperges)

This is a lovely, yet simple recipe for a warm spring or summer’s day that combines beautiful flavours and looks pretty on any table. Perfect as a starter or as part of a relaxed lunch with salads and other summery dishes.

  • 1 roll of good quality puff pastry
  • 500 g green asparagus
  • 12 thin slices of ham (Bayonne, Parma or San Daniele are perfect)
  • 70 g goat cream cheese (or regular cream cheese)
  • 1 tablespoon crème fraîche
  • 1/2 untreated lemon
  • 3-4 teaspoons water
  • 20 fresh mint leaves (3-4 sprigs)
  • a dash of olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

Preheat oven to 210° C (upper and lower heat). Cut puff pastry into shape (we did a rectangle, because that’s easy with asparagus), place on a baking tray and blindbake for 20 minutes until golden brown.

Rinse the asparagus, cut off the wooden ends. Divide the asparagus into roughly equal amounts. Take half, cut ham slices in half lengthwise and tightly wrap around each asparagus stem.

Put all the asparagus (with and without ham) on a baking tray, add a few dashes of olive oil and gently roll them around so they’re covered in the oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. As you remove the puff pastry from the oven, reduce the temperature to 180° C and leave the asparagus to roast for 10 minutes. Then set aside to chill.

Prepare a blend of cream cheese and crème fraîche. Wash a lemon under hot water and grate off a thin layer of zest. Then juice it. Mix the zest into the cheese, stir in lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. If the cheese is not creamy enough yet, add water spoon by spoon until you reach a creamy, easy to spread texture. Finely chop mint leaves and add half to the cheese spread.

Once everything has cooled down, spread goat cheese mixture evenly onto the puff pastry, place asparagus on it and top off with the rest of the chopped mint.

“Bon appétit from the Mirabeau kitchen and we hope you enjoy this perfect recipe for a warm summer’s day. Oh and feel free to treat yourself to a nicely chilled glass of Rosé.” Stefanie Köhler

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