Saturday, April 9, 2011

Spring Onion and Asparagus Tart

Spring is in the air in the Bay Area.

Last weekend, my good friend Helen and I ventured to the farmer’s market at the San Francisco Ferry Building. Our goal is to visit at least once month to discover the season’s treats. It was a beautiful spring morning, not too chilly or warm, just perfect. I actually wore my favorite pair of flip flops with a light jacket.

It takes just about 25 minutes to get the market and we leave early enough that it is not overly congested. With our reusable bags in hand, we traditionally stop at the Downtown Bakery & Creamery first. These folks drive down every Saturday from Healdsburg to make people smile and sell their magnificent baked goods. My favorite is the Almond Tart. It is savory, rich, flakey and buttery – simply divine and the ultimate almond tart.

I purchased a couple treats for my husband, specifically the jam pockets. I enjoyed a savory cheddar cheese scone that was to die for. I picked up gorgeous golden fingerling potatoes, last of the season Brussels sprouts, asparagus, purple spring onions and several other goodies.

One of my newest finds was Happy Girl Kitchen Company. They currently reside on the central coast of California and create the most wonderful jams, pickles and tomato based products. I purchased the award winning Apricot Chili Jam and the Strawberry Lavender Jam.

Of course we could not miss visiting inside the Ferry Building and a stop at Cowgirl Creamery is a must. Helen brought a cooler full of ice in anticipation of purchasing some wonderful cheeses. Typically we try new cheeses to broaden our palates. Our visit was no exception. My husband is a huge fan of sheep milk cheeses. I found three wonderful choices to bring home: Cave aged Gruyere Emmi, Lamb Chopper and Goat Gouda.

After our visit to the farmers market we headed over to 4th street in Berkeley for a bit of shopping and lunch. My favorite shops there are Anthropologie, The Gardener, CB2 and Crate and Barrel outlet.

We dined outside at Café Rouge and started with a Blood Orange Soda made from fresh squeezed blood oranges. We first enjoyed La Quercia Prosciutto with marinated baby artichokes, olives and bread sticks. Next was a gorgeous Cheese Plate with a cow, sheep and goat cheese selection. Lastly we savored a stunning Mushroom and Cheddar Cheese Tart. Of course we had to share a dessert and chose the Beignet with Pineapple Meringue Sauce and Meyer Lemon Ice Cream. The dessert was too die for!!

The mushroom tart and goodies from the farmers market were my inspiration for the Spring Onion and Asparagus Tart. My husband said this was one of my best tarts and asked me to make it again real soon. Enjoy!

Spring Onion and Asparagus Tart


1/3 C. Ricotta
3 T. Sour cream or crème Fraiche
1 Egg yolk
½ t. Salt
½ t. Pepper

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl and keep refrigerated until ready to use.


6 Stalks of fresh asparagus, shaved with veggie peeler
2 Spring onions, sliced thin
¼ C. Parmesan cheese
1 t. Truffle oil
3 T. Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl and set aside until ready to assemble tart


1 sheet puff pastry
1 egg yolk + 1 t. water, mix in a small bowl


Let one sheet of the puff pastry thaw until it is soft enough to lay flat. Be careful to not let get too warm. Roll on a lightly floured board and run the rolling pin over it a couple times.

Cut with a sharp knife into four even pieces. With a sharp knife cut almost to the bottom of pastry a square that is about ¾ inch from the edge to form a square within a square. Lightly brush with a pastry brush around the edges of the square but not in the center.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in a 400 degree oven on a non-stick cookie sheet. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes.

Spoon the filling in the center of each tart and divide the asparagus mixture among each tart. Return to the 400 degree oven for 15 minutes. The edges should be golden brown and the filling set to a light firmness. Enjoy alone or with a light salad.


  1. Wow! This looks beautiful and, of course, delicious! It definately has spring farmer's market written all over it!

  2. Such a beautiful tart...nothing better than goodies from Farmers Market. Spring :)

  3. So pretty Lisa...your pictures are BEAUTIFUL!

  4. I've gotten these in the farmer's markets and was never really sure what to do with them. These look great! Like a bite of spring!

  5. Oh Lisa, you're making me hungry, we like a lot of the same things;-) Your tart looks so seasonal and beautiful;-)

  6. What a lovely spring dish to get you in the mood for the start of another season. And the truffle oil is such a nice treat. I bet the Ferry Building has wonderful produce to choose from. Your photos are beautiful. Thanks for sharing, Lisa.

  7. wow I want one too! Love those beautiful purple onions..very pretty.

  8. This looks so yummy, I love asparagus. This would be great for a brunch!

  9. What a great day! I'm so jealous of all the amazing things on offer at that market. And, your tart looks like an image of spring. The truffle oil is the perfect added touch!

  10. Absolutely gorgeous tart, I'm just waiting for the asparagus to start coming out here in Nova Scotia. I love our farmers' market too and all the treats it holds. If your husband likes sheep cheese you should surprise him with Manchago sometime, it's delightfully sharp like an old cheddar but a little drier and perfect with cured meats. I had some at a local wine bar on Saturday and loved it!

  11. What a splendid tart! Those are fabulous flavors. Spring in the plate.



  12. What a wonderful way to spend your Saturday! And the result: a Gorgeous tart that's the full expression of Spring! Hooray!

  13. Looks so beautiful and fresh. I love when fruits and veggies are in season! I would love the texture cominations in this tart.

  14. This is so beautiful! I'm pinning to bookmark for later. Thanks for sharing this with me. :)


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