Asparagus is one of my favourite vegetables. I love them in soups, tarts, quiches, and in stir- fries.
Asparagus and filo are two versatile ingredients which complement each other and I tried them in a tart.
You can add any herbs of your choice. As I am currently living in Ankara, I used pul biber (chilli flakes) and thyme to give this tart a Turkish twist. You can use cayenne pepper or chilli flakes -its entirely up to your taste. I prefer low to mild heat.
The filo pastry should be handled with care as it tends to break easily. Gently remove it from the package and cover it with a damp tea towel. This dampness will protect the pastry from breaking.
I used some leftover cream and eggs in this tart. If you don’t want to use cream, you can always substitute it with milk.
Serves: 4 persons Time: 40 minutes + cooling
1 package (400 grams) filo pastry
1 bunch (400 grams) of tender asparagus, washed and cut into 3 inch pieces and reserve some tips to decorate the top of the tart
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
A few sprigs of thyme
1 tsp pul biber/ cayenne pepper/ chilli flakes
¼ tsp black pepper, freshly ground if possible
A few drops of lemon juice
2-3 tbsp melted butter
2-3 tbsp bread crumbs
Salt to taste
1 tbsp olive oil or butter
150 ml whole milk
150 ml cream
3 tbsp grated hard cheese or a mix of any cheese that you have
1.Heat a pan with olive oil or butter.
2.When the oil is hot add the onion, garlic and thyme. Sautè for 2 minutes.
3.Add the asparagus; sautè until it turns bright green in colour.
4.Add pul biber, black pepper, lemon juice and salt.
Take off from heat. While it’s cooling assemble the filo pastry.
5.Preheat the oven to 180°C or 350°F.
6.Grease a 22 inch non stick tart or pie dish.
7.Carefully remove the filo pastry from the package and cover it with a damp tea towel or cloth.
8.Remove one leaf from the filo pastry packet and lay it on the tart dish. Shape the filo leaf to fit into the tart dish.
9.Brush with melted butter and sprinkle a bit of bread crumbs.
10.Repeat this with 5 more layers (six layers in total).
11.Beat the eggs; gradually add the milk, cream, ¼ tsp of salt and grated cheese.
12.Add the cooled asparagus to the prepared tart dish. Pour the egg and milk mixture to the tart and garnish with the reserved asparagus tips.
13.Bake in a preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until the custard is set and golden brown on top.
Leave it to cool for about 15 minutes before serving.
Serve it with a green salad.