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Meatless Meal: It’s Asparagus Season!

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I just love when asparagus comes into season.  It’s one of my favourite vegetables!  This recipe is a lovely way to use it.

Asparagus Tart (Adapted from Niagara Cooks by Lynn Ogryzlo)

Ingredients:

1 c. flour

1/2 c. butter, cubed

1 3/4 c. grated Parmesan

2 T. ice cold water

4 T. shredded Parmesan

1 lb. asparagus, trimmed

1 cup heavy cream

2 eggs

1/2 c. shredded Parmesan

1 T. fresh tarragon, chopped – other herbs I like in this are rosemary and basil

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:  Cut butter and grated Parmesan into the flour using a pastry cutter (or your food processor) until it’s the texture of cornmeal.  Blend in the ice water until you have a smooth dough – don’t overwork it.  Press the dough into an 18 inch tart pan.  Put this in the fridge to chill (for about 15-20 minutes).  In the meantime, cook the asparagus in boiling water, until slightly tender – about 2 minutes.  Place on paper towels to drain.  Mix together the cream, eggs, 1/2 c. shredded Parmesan, and herbs and spices.  Take the tart shell out of the fridge and poke the bottom and sides several times with a fork.  Line the tart with foil and then place some pie weights or dried beans on top of the foil to weigh it down.  Bake the shell for about 15 minutes in the middle of the oven at 350 degrees F.  Take the shell out of the oven and remove the pie weights/beans and the foil.  Place the shell back in the oven and bake until a lovely golden colour, about 10 minutes.  Remove shell from oven and sprinkle with the 4 T. of shredded Parmesan.  Let the shell cool.  Once cool, arrange the asparagus pieces in the shell and pour over the cream mixture.  Bake until the tart has puffed up slightly and the top is lightly browned, about 30-35 minutes.  Let sit for a few minutes before cutting into it and serving.

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