Asparagus, Roasted tomato, red onion, basil & mozzarella tart

This is a great centrepiece for spring- summer dining. Requires a little patience and there is some prep involved.
I love the flavours in this tart, but most of all the vibrant colours that just transport me to Italy.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 50 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian

Equipment

  • Saucepan
  • Frying Pan
  • Baking Tray

Ingredients
  

  • 5 thick asparagus spears, sliced lengthways – or 10 thin ones
  • 1 punnet @ 20 sweet cherry tomatoes
  • Handful of fresh basil leaves
  • 1 x Buffalo mozzarella balls
  • 1 small red onion
  • Sea Salt & Pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp Ex Virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Milk for brushing

Instructions
 

  • Blanch the asparagus in boiling water with a teaspoon of salt and sugar for about 4 minutes, drain and plunge in very cold water – this will stop the asparagus from cooking further and help keep the bright colour.
  • Using a sharp knife, trim the sheet of puff pastry to about 25 x 28cm/10 x 11in. Place it on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and score a border 2cm/¾in in from the edge all the way round. Prick the pastry within the margin, using a fork. Leave to rest in the fridge for about an hour. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180 Fan.
  • Put the cherry tomatoes in an oven proof dish and drizzle in a little olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, pepper and the oregano. Roast for around 30-40 minutes until they are soft and sticky. Set aside
  • Heat 1 tbsp of oil in the frying pan and add red onion slices, cook on a low heat stirring occasionally until they are nicely softened, about 10-15 minutes. Add in the balsamic vinegar and let the onions cook for a few minutes more so they are sticky, and the liquid has evaporated. Set aside.
  • Turn the oven up to 220 fan
  • Brush the puff pastry all over with the milk and sprinkle with a little salt. Cook on the middle shelf of the oven for about 15 minutes.
  • Reduce the temperature to 140C Fan
  • Press the inside of the pastry down and return to the oven for 25 minutes to get a super-crisp base.
  • Tear up the mozzarella, pat dry with kitchen roll to take off the excess moisture and drizzle with some olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper – Mix this up as it helps to give an even seasoning when cooking.
  • Dry the asparagus and toss in a little olive oil.
  • Take the tart case out of the oven and increase the temperature to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6.
  • Scatter the red onions, tomatoes, asparagus into the tart case, mix the basil leaves in with the cheese to coat in the seasoned oil then add this to the tart .
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes until the cheese is softening. Cut the tart into portions and serve warm.
Keyword asparagus, pastry, tart

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