Last Friday night, I was living my best life. I had 2 glasses of wine, 3 pieces of pizza, watched 4 episodes of Shameless and plucked 5 new beard hairs. I’m not sure when exactly I started sprouting facial hair, I think it was probably some time after 27. But at this rate, I’m going to be highly employable as an early 1800s sideshow attraction by the the time I hit 30 in August.
As I edge closer to the dawn of a new decade, I find myself thinking more about what I’m putting in my body. Don’t worry, this blog is not going to become a paleo/keto/raw/vegan treasure trove any time soon. That being said, I am trying to be more mindful of getting my daily dose of fruits and veggies. As Spring approaches, at least in name, the return of farmer’s markets and fresh produce will make it that much easier, and affordable, to celebrate nature’s bounty.
Asparagus is one of my seasonal favourites for Spring. I always take the opportunity to feature this vegetable in at least a few different forms. One of my perennial favourites is this Shrimp and Asparagus Pizza from i am a food blog – might sound weird, but trust me, it’s a winning combination.
This particular dish that I’m sharing today takes seasonal asparagus and builds on it with fresh herbs of tarragon and chives. Perfect for a meatless Monday main or Easter brunch, puff pastry and a generous topping of goat cheese and pecorino add a touch of decadence to this elegant option.
Unless you’re some kind of pastry ninja, you’re going to be using store-bought frozen puff pastry in this recipe. As you’ll be baking the pastry twice, keep a close eye on it to ensure it doesn’t get too dark the first time around. The timing I’ve provided herein are guidelines, keep your oven light on and don’t stray too far from the kitchen when you’re doing the first bake.
If you’re wondering where to find Pecorino cheese, I know some of the better-stocked grocery stores are carrying it or you can always find it at your local Italian deli, like Bottega Nicastro or fromagerie.
I fell truly, madly, deeply in love with Pecorino when I was on a walking wine tour of Tuscany a few years ago. Pecorino is a family of hard Italian cheese made from sheep’s milk. Under the Tuscan sun, there are seemingly endless variants – from peppered pecorino, to examples studded with delicate black truffles or walnuts. It’s definitely a cheese worth discovering if you haven’t had a chance to sample it and it makes a delightful topping to this tart.
I’m not sure eating more greens is going to curb my beard-growing habit, I’ll probably just have to keep my tweezers close at hand, but it might help me feel a bit better when I cave to the occasional indulgence of Pizza Hut and red wine.
With Spring arriving later this week, it's time to start thinking seasonally. This Asparagus and Goat Cheese Tart is the perfect celebration of nature's bounty and is perfectly-suited to meatless Monday or Easter brunch.
Recipe adapted from: Aitken, Julia. "Asparagus and Tarragon-Goat Cheese Tart." Food & Drink. Spring 2017.