Packed with colourful seasonal vegetables and topped with a sunny side-up egg, this tasty tart makes the ideal spring lunch to cook up this Easter.
Spring is finally here, and with it come longer days, brighter skies and, perhaps, a little more hope for the months ahead. It’s the perfect time to put on some SPF, get outside into the sunshine and shake off the winter blues.
If you’re looking for the ideal light alfresco lunch to match your springtime mood, look no further than this delicious English asparagus tart recipe by Coworth Park’s executive chef, Adam Smith.
A refreshing, zesty tart, it is packed full of British vegetables that are back in season this spring. The blend of garlic, lemon, watercress, asparagus and goat’s cheese come together beautifully, giving a burst of flavour in every bite. Topped with a fried egg, this tart really is like biting into a ray of sunshine.
English asparagus tart with goat’s cheese, watercress pesto and fried egg
Serves: 2 people
Total time: 45 mins
1 x A4 sized sheet of puff pastry
10 asparagus tips
200g goat’s cheese
3 eggs (1 for egg wash, 2 for frying)
Sea salt and black pepper
For the watercress pesto:
1 clove of garlic
50g pine nuts
150ml rapeseed oil
For the watercress pesto:
- Finely grate the garlic clove and the parmesan.
- Pick the leaves from the stalk of the watercress, keep the leaves to one side and finely chop the stalks.
- Into a food processor, place the pine nuts, garlic, parmesan and watercress stalks with 75ml of the rapeseed oil and blitz.
- When the mix looks smooth add the leaves of the watercress and blitz again slowly adding the remaining rapeseed oil.
- Once the correct texture is achieved, season with plenty of freshly ground black pepper and the zest of the lemon (do not add the juice as this will make the pesto go brown). Reserve until ready to serve (this is best made on the day).
For the tart:
- Take the sheet of puff pastry and fold over a 1cm lip on all 4 sides to make a border. Beat one egg and season with a little salt and pepper and brush this evenly over the pastry.
- Allow to set in the fridge for 10 min, then with a fork prick the centre of the tart in 5-6 places, and light score the pastry with a knife just inside the border.
- Blind bake the tart base at 180°c for 16-18 min, or until the pastry is evenly cooked and golden brown.
- Remove the tart from the oven and allow to cool on a cooling rack, the centre of the tart will have risen, once cold this can be pushed down flat again.
- Remove the barbs from the sides of the asparagus and trim to a length that will fit the tart base.
- Cook the asparagus in boiling salted water until tender and then place into ice water to cool.
- Take three-quarters of the goat’s cheese and spread on to the bottom of the tart.
- Make sure the asparagus is drained from the ice water and dry, then place in a line on top of the goat’s cheese on the tart.
- Brush the asparagus with a little rapeseed oil and season with sea salt and pepper.
- Crumble the remaining goat’s cheese on top.
- Cook the whole tart at 175°c for 6 minutes, ensuring the cheese is melted.
- Fry your two eggs.
- While the tart is still hot from the oven, generously spoon over the watercress pesto.
- Place the fried eggs on the top and serve.
Adam Smith is the executive chef at Michelin-starred Restaurant Coworth Park in Ascot. Named as the Roux Scholar in 2012 and awarded Craft Guild of Chefs Restaurant Chef of the Year in 2015, he joined Coworth Park as its executive chef in 2016, overseeing all its culinary outlets.
Images: Coworth Park