Looks can be deceiving

Doesn't that look like a delicious asparagus tart? Well, it wasn't. Let's count the ways it turned out badly.

1. The pastry: A frozen puff pastry that was opened at least 6 months ago and has been sitting in the freezer ever since. Apparently frozen puff pastry gets freezer burns too. (DUH!!) Notice how the top and right edges of the tart did not rise properly and was browned more significantly. There was a lot of water loss there. It caused the pastry to crack and difficult to be rolled out.
2. Asparagus was not that fresh. I threw away some old stems, cut out the fibrous ends, but it just didn't have a clean taste to it. Plus some of them were still too fibrous for my taste.
3. The final blow was the horrible Gruyere cheese. It smells bad. Simple as that.

The lesson was -- if a recipe is so simple, you'd better damn make sure your ingredients are of the finest quality. Otherwise there will be nothing like a heavy sauce to cover it up.

Recipe: Asparagus cheese tart

1 bunch of asparagus
1 frozen puff pastry
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1.5-2 cups grated gruyere cheese
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400F.
2. Wash asparagus. Cut out fibrous ends. Dry well with paper towels.
3. Follow instructions on box to thaw pastry. Roll to about 10"x15" rectangle. Dust with flour if necessary. Move to a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet.
4. Use a sharp knife (like a paring knife) to score a 1-inch border along the 4 edges. Use a fork to poke all over within the border.
5. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven. Sprinkle cheese all over within the border. Lay down asparagus over tart. Mix up the ends so that each cut piece will receive some heads and some tails.
6. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Drizzle olive oil all over. Bake for an additional 15 minutes.
7. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.


Erica said…
But it looks so tasty!!!
Albertitto said…
I know...I'm a real sucker for cookbooks with very chic tasty pictures. Unfortunately looking good doesn't always translate to tasting good. I actually threw this tart away :-P
juliebean said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
juliebean said…
(trying again, since it previously chopped off my URL link to the other recipe)

First of all, I love your blog! Secondly, I was searching for variations of an Asparagus Tart recipe found here:

when I found your site in the Google hits returns lists...

Your version looks yummy, but since you were dissatisfied with the results, I have to ask: did you try again, using alterations,etc.?
Albertitto said…
Hi Julie, Thanks for stopping by! I am not very knowledgable about cheeses. That's why I had the wrong kind of Gruyere. I haven't tried it since. With aspearagus I've been just tossing them in olive oil, salt, and pepper, and broil them for 6 minutes. I really like them this way!

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