Asparagus, Goat Cheese & Bacon Tart


Asparagus, Goat Cheese & Bacon Tart

5 slices bacon
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 bunch asparagus (about 1 lb.), tough ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
(see How to trim asparagus)
1/2 lb. puff pastry, defrosted if frozen
1/2 lb. soft goat cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg yolk mixed with 1/2 tsp. water

Heat the oven to 450°F.

In a medium frying pan, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp, about 8 min. Transfer to paper towels. Pour off all but 1 Tbs. of the bacon fat from the pan. Add the shallot to the pan and sauté for about 1 min. Add the asparagus and cook over medium-high heat until the asparagus is crisp-tender, about 5 min. Remove the pan from the heat. Crumble the bacon into tiny pieces and mix it with the asparagus and shallot.

On a lightly floured piece of kitchen parchment, roll out the pastry to a 10x16-inch rectangle. Transfer the pastry and the parchment to a baking sheet.

Using your fingers, pat the goat cheese onto the pastry, spreading it as evenly as you can and leaving a 1-inch border around the edge. Sprinkle the asparagus, bacon, and shallot mixture evenly over the goat cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

Brush the edge of the tart with the egg wash. Bake until the pastry is golden brown, 20 to 25 min. Let cool slightly and serve warm.

Be sure to cook the pastry fully to get it light and crisp. Serves four.

by Jan Newberry
from Fine Cooking #38, pp. 90
photo: Judi Rutz

Recipe link: http://www.taunton.com/finecooking/recipes/asparagus_goat_cheese_tart.aspx