Asparagus Tart

This is the last in the holiday series for 2013.  Some last guests perhaps this week, tasty appetizers are a must‐have for holiday entertaining, and this asparagus tart fits the bill perfectly. Flaky pastry and stretchy cheese make this recipe from TV host and cookbook author, Sabrina Tutino, a sure crowd‐ pleaser. More great recipes can be found online at http://www.mozzarellissima.ca

Mozzarellissima Asparagus Tart

Servings: 4 to 6
Ingredients:

1 bunch fresh asparagus (approximately 11⁄2 lbs/750 g)

1⁄4 cup (50 mL)  melted butter

1 package frozen phyllo pastry, defrosted (1 lb /500 g)

3 cups (750 mL) Saputo Mozzarellissima cheese, grated

2 eggs

3⁄4 cup (175 mL) 35% cream

1⁄2 tsp (2 mL)  smoked paprika

sea salt, to taste

zest of 2 lemons

Directions:

Preparation: 20 minutes

Cooking: 35 minutes

  1. Preheat oven to 350 ̊F (180 ̊C). Bring a pot of water to boil, add the asparagus and cook for 1 minute to blanch. Place the asparagus in ice water to stop the cooking process and   keep their crunchy texture. Drain asparagus and pat dry.
  2. Lightly coat a baking sheet with melted butter. Place a sheet of phyllo dough on the buttered baking sheet. Brush dough with more butter and repeat this process, layering the remaining phyllo dough on top.
  3. Sprinkle the top of the phyllo dough with grated cheese, leaving a 1‐inch (2.5‐cm) border around the edges.
  4. Beat the eggs with the cream. Add the smoked paprika and pour over the tart.
  5. Arrange the asparagus spears evenly across the tart, and sprinkle with sea salt and lemon zest. Brush the borders of the tart with melted butter.
  6. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, uncovered. Then, cover the centre of the tart with aluminium foil, leaving the borders exposed, and continue cooking for an extra 15 to 20 minutes until centre is set and the edges are golden brown.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow the tart to sit for 5 minutes before cutting in squares and serving.

Tips:

‐ While working with the phyllo dough,always cover it with a damp cloth or paper towel to prevent it  from drying out.

‐ To add extra  flavour,you can squeeze the juice of half a lemon on the tart before  serving.

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