This tart is a perfect addition to any spring brunch. Tangy goat cheese, sweet leeks and salty bits of bacon rest on top a buttery-rich pastry. With the addition of asparagus, it screams spring. You can serve it warm, but it's just as tasty at room temperature. The tart can also be made ahead and reheated. So if you're planning a brunch buffet, it's one dish out of the way. It's a great main dish served with some mixed spring greens tossed in a mild vinaigrette.
This tart works greats as a main dish served with mixed spring greens, or it can be cut into appetizer portions.
ASPARAGUS AND LEEK TART WITH GOAT CHEESE
5 slices bacon, diced
2 leeks, white and pale green parts only, washed well, sliced
1 bunch asparagus (about 1 pound), tough ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 sheet ( 1/2 pound) puff pastry, thawed
5 ounces soft goat cheese (plain or herb), softened
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg yolk mixed with 1/2 teaspoon water
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
In a large nonstick skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towels. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat from the pan. Add the leeks to the skillet and saute for about 2 minutes or until softened. Add the asparagus and cook over medium-high heat until the asparagus is crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the cooked bacon.
On a lightly floured piece of kitchen parchment, roll out the pastry to a 10-by-16-inch rectangle. Transfer the pastry and the parchment to a baking sheet.
Evenly spread the softened goat cheese onto the pastry, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge. Sprinkle the asparagus mixture evenly over the goat cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the edge over and crimp for a decorative edge if desired.
Brush the edge of the tart with the egg wash. Bake until the pastry is golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool slightly. Cut into 6 pieces and serve warm.
Adapted from "Fine Cooking in Season" by editors and contributors of Fine Cooking magazine (Taunton Press, $22.95).
Nutritional information: 366 calories (60% from fat), 25 grams fat (7 grams sat. fat), 24 grams carbohydrates, 13 grams protein, 469 mg sodium, 53 mg cholesterol, 2 grams fiber.