Merry Christmas – Festive Holiday Tart

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Ho Ho Ho!  If you are looking for an easy but festive appetizer for your holiday guests, how about this version of my Asparagus and Goat Cheese Tart that was updated for the holidays by my friend, Karen Schroeder.  The red and green just screams Christmas! This could be the perfect appetizer to serve your vegetarian friends but, be warned, your meat eating friends will love it too.   It’s not too late to pick up some phyllo dough, or maybe you have a box lurking in your freezer.  Click HERE for full recipe and complete instructions.  Just add cherry tomatoes! Check out some other recipes made by GMD readers on my You Made It! Page.  If you send me YOUR photos of GMD recipes, I will post them.  Love my readers!

MERRY CHRISTMAS! Of course in my house it’s also HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my son, ERIC, who turns 26 tomorrow! xoxo

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Photo Credit: thecreationzstudio.blogspot.com

Meatless Monday – Asparagus & Goat Cheese Tart

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Looking for a simple and quick appetizer?  It’s asparagus season and I wanted an appetizer that would show case this perennial spring favorite.  This tart  recipe which I adapted from HuffPoste Taste has only four ingredients plus olive oil and a few fresh herbs and spices.  It takes less than 10 minutes to assemble and about 12 minutes to cook.  Slice into squares and you have an elegant and sophisticated hors d’oeuvre to serve your guests.  This is a very forgiving appetizer which doesn’t have to be served piping hot.  It’s just as good at room temperature which makes it perfect for a dinner party.  Just make the tart ahead and it will sit and wait until you’re ready to serve.  You can also halve the recipe to make just one tart, which is enough for 2 to 4 people as an appetizer.

This is not a typical recipe for me since I try to avoid white flour, however, I was intrigued by it’s simplicity and wanted to give it a try.  I am a newbie to phyllo dough, which can be tricky to work with since it’s so thin and dries out quickly.  Just make sure everything is ready before you unwrap the phyllo dough.  Don’t worry if it rips as you handle it because the rips will be hidden within the layers.  This is a fairly thin crust (2 sheets of phyllo dough folded in half per tart), just enough to provide a beautiful backdrop for the asparagus and give a satisfying salty, crispy, crunch.  If you like a more substantial crust, just add more layers of phyllo.  Thin asparagus spears work better than thick which may not end up fully roasted when the phyllo is done.  If you don’t like goat cheese, substitute ricotta or gruyere.  Fresh herbs are a nice accompaniement but dried herbs will work just fine.  If you make it, let me know how it goes!

Asparagus and Goat Cheese Tart

  • Servings: 2 thin 8x12 tarts
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

4 sheets phyllo pastry, thawed
1/4 cup olive oil
6 oz goat cheese (ricotta or gruyere)
1 bunch slender asparagus
2 Tbsn grated parmesan (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
fresh thyme, rosemary and/or basil (optional)

 

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Trim the asparagus spears to fit the width of the folded phyllo, leaving room for a one inch border on each side.  Toss asparagus with a drizzle of olive oil.

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  • Lay 2 sheets of phyllo dough on a baking sheet so half is hanging over the edge. Brush the half sheets of pastry in the pan with olive oil, and fold  the other halves, one at a time and brush each with oil.  Repeat with other 2 sheets of phyllo.  You should end up with 2 rectangles.  You may need two baking sheets if you don’t have a jumbo one like I do.
  • Crumble the goat cheese on top, leaving a border of pastry. Add the asparagus in rows.

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  • Season with salt, pepper, parmesan and fresh herbs, if using. Bake for 12 minutes, until the pastry is golden-crisp and the asparagus just tender.
  •  Top with freshly chopped or sliced basil, if desired.

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