I love traditional asparagus rolls, and will guard a plate of them possessively while rapidly depleting its contents if they’re ever served up at a party. However, asparagus sold in spindly green bundles, heralding summer’s arrival, is something else altogether. Here it’s strewn across puff pastry and blasted in the oven, transforming its stringy, grassy tendencies into nutty, lightly crisp deliciousness.
Most people are rushed beyond capacity at this time of year, which is why this tart is great — it falls into that classic food genre, ‘looks much more impressive and fiddly than the time and effort it took to actually make it should warrant’. If you’re up for it though, the avocado oil hollandaise is a dreamy accompaniment.
Avocado oil’s mellow, buttery flavour and the bright sweetness of lemon work delightfully with the asparagus, and the hollandaise adds some important general festive fanciness. Should you be having the most frantic of Christmas Eves, the most exhaustedly limp of Boxing Days, or are simply completely unsure of what day it is because you’re just so busy, this tart will improve everything.
Asparagus Tart with Avocado Oil Hollandaise
- 1 sheet puff pastry
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan
- 10–15 spears fresh asparagus, tough ends trimmed
- 1 tbsp avocado oil
- 3 egg yolks
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Pinch of salt
- 40g butter, melted and still warm
- ¼ cup avocado oil
- Preheat your oven to 200˚C. Place the pastry sheet on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
- Lightly score a border 3cm inside the sheet of pastry all the way round, and prick the middle a couple of times with a fork. Bake for 8–10 minutes, until golden and puffed around the edge.
- Sprinkle the Parmesan over the pastry, and then arrange the asparagus spears in a single row on top (trimming the ends if necessary to make them fit).
- Drizzle over the tablespoon of avocado oil. Bake for another 20 minutes, or until the asparagus is tender.
- Now make the hollandaise sauce. In a small pan, whisk the egg yolks, lemon juice, zest and pinch of salt over a very low heat until thickened slightly.
- Add the butter and then continue to whisk constantly over a low heat for a couple of minutes.
- Slowly pour in the ¼ cup of avocado oil and stir to combine. Remove from the heat.
- Serve the hollandaise sauce in a jug on the side to drizzle over the tart.