I like to serve a big, bowl of crunchy greens with savory tarts dressed with lemon vinaigrette, especially in the spring.
Makes an 8″ or 9″ Tart
A pre-baked pie shell.** I prefer to use a glass pie dish because it gives a crisper crust. However, you can also use a 9″ rimmed, fluted 1 1/4″ deep tart pan with a removable bottom.
1 lb. asparagus, trimmed (see below) cut into 1” pieces (12 oz. for 8″ tart)
½ lb mushrooms, shiitake or brown mushrooms (6 oz. for 8″ tart)
6 oz. Gruyere cheese, grated (4 oz. for 8″ tart)
1 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped (3/4 tsp. for 8″ tart)
1 tsp. finely grated lemon peel (3/4 tsp. for 8″ tart)
Pinch of nutmeg
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
For a 8” glass pie plate use: 2 cups creamo, 4 eggs, beaten, 3/4 tsp. salt & 1/4 tsp. pepper
For a 9” metal, fluted tart pan with removable bottom use: 1 1/2 cups creamo, 3 eggs, beaten, 1 tsp. salt & a rounded 1/4 tsp. pepper.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil & add salt. Blanch asparagus for 1-2 minutes or until al dente. Remove from boiling water into a bowl of ice water. Drain & blot dry. In the meantime, sauté the mushrooms in a bit of butter on medium-high until they are lightly browned & release any of their water.
Whisk together the eggs and creamo; add the fresh thyme, grated lemon peel, pinch of nutmeg, salt & pepper. Place half the grated cheese into the pie shell along with the well-blotted asparagus pieces & mushrooms, top with remaining cheese. Pour the custard over top until about 1/4″ below rim of pastry (you may have some left over) & place in preheated 375 F oven. Bake for 30 – 45 minutes, checking after 30 minutes by inserting a thin bladed knife into the middle of the tart. If it is done, the knife will come out clean. Remove from the oven & let cool on a rack for 20 minutes before cutting.