Monday, August 25, 2014

A Taste of Spring: Asparagus and Spring Onion Tart (Gordon Ramsay)

It is late August now and also the end of our down-under winter. We just had two beautiful mild sunny days on the last Friday and Saturday. I'm seeing kids running in their tees and shorts and flowers are blooming everywhere. I can't wait for Spring and Summer to arrive...

The arrival of Spring is often seen with lots of Asian greens, artichoke, snow peas, spring onions and asparagus in our local market. When I saw this asparagus and spring onion tart recipe from the book, Gordon Ramsay's Great British Pub Food, I know that this vegetarian tart is perfect to eat at this current season.

Vegetarian tart!? Fully loaded with greens!? Knowing me and my family, I know that this is clearly the kind of food that I always like but not exactly sure how my meat-loving husband and fussy son will react having this very green tart for our dinner. Finger-crossed...

asparagus and spring onion gruyere cheese tart Gordon Ramsay
Asparagus and Spring Onion Tart (Gordon Ramsay)

Yippee! I can link this post too to Little Thumb Up with Flour theme!
Seeing greens!!! Exactly! This is the taste of Spring!
No wastage! I used the green part of the onions to cook this...
... and saved the roots to grow more spring onions.
My Aussie friends laughed at me whenever I said that I peeled the lower part of asparagus. Don't laugh! I'm doing this under the instructions of Gordon Ramsay! - LOL!
The pastry contains no eggs at all and can be quite fragile to handle.
The inside became flaky after part of the pastry stick on the baking paper after removing it.
Assembling the tart...
... is like making a quiche mixture.
The assembling continues and bake...
The cheesy mixture puffed up when it is freshly baked and shrunk when it cooled...
Ops! See how crumbly this pastry is... This piece went into my mouth :p No wastage!
Every slice of this is delicious!

I'm very happy and surprised that my husband and son were enjoying this tart very much. The recipe says that it serves 6 but the three of us finished this tart all in one meal. Aren't we ferocious?... LOL!

To my surprise, I didn't hear any complains and comments like "where is the meat?", "too much vege for me!", "I don't this" or "I don't like that". Everyone was happy. The tart pastry (without any egg) is very short... melting in our mouth and being so delicious but I find it a little too crumbly to handle. Apart from the pastry, assembling and baking this tart is super easy. Despite that the tart is over-loaded with greens, it is very well-balanced with cheese and eggs with minimal seasonings, maximizing the taste and beauty of Spring.

After enjoying this delicious meal, my son and I were excited watching the spring onion roots growing and saw this happened on the next day... My husband had transplanted these into pots. Finger-crossed...

Our Spring-ing spring onions :D

Here's the recipe from the book, Gordon Ramsay's Great British Pub Food or here
(with my modification in blue)

For the short crust pastry:
200g plain flour plus extra for dusting
1/4 tsp salt
100 g cold butter, cut into small cubes
egg white from 1 egg (to glaze)

For the filling:
1 bunch spring onions (trimmed)
50 g butter
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
salt to taste
250ml pouring cream (35% fat)
100g cheese, grated (I used 125g Gruyère)
350g asparagus spears (trimmed and lower parts of stalks peeled)
(I used 2 bunches of baby asparagus)

To make the pastry:

Put flour and salt into a bowl, add chopped butter and rub in until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. Add 3 tbsp of ice cold water and mix with a butter knife until the dough just comes together.

If it seems too dry, add a little extra water, but try not to make dough too wet. Lightly knead into a smooth ball, wrap in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for at least 30 mins before rolling out.

Roll out onto a lightly floured surface to a large round, to the thickness of 1 pound coin / 5mm. Use to line 23-24 cm round tart tin (or 11.5 x 34 x 2.5cm loose-based fluted tart pan) leaving a little excess overhanging the rim. Chill again for at least 30 mins.

Heat the oven to 200°C / 180°C fan forced. Line the tart case with baking paper and dried or ceramic baking beans and bake blind for 15 mins. Remove the paper and beans and bake for further 5 mins. Leave to cool slightly, then trim off the excess pastry around the rim. Brush the inside of the tart case with egg white to glaze. Leave to cool while prepare the filling. Reduce the oven setting to 180°C / 160°C fan forced. 

To make the filling:

Slice the spring onions on the diagonal. Melt the butter in a pan, add the spring onions with salt and pepper to season and cook gently over medium heat until soft but not browned. Remove and allow to cool slightly.

Blanch the asparagus in a pan of boiling water for 2 to 3 mins; they should still retain a bite.

Drain and refresh under cold running water, then drain well. Cut the asparagus spears in half lengthwise - I didn't have to do that because I used baby asparagus.

Whisk the eggs, egg yolks and cream together in a bowl. Reserve a good handful of cheese for sprinkling, and the rest of the cheese to the creamy mixture and season well with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper.

Sprinkle half the remaining cheese (I used just a small handful as I like most of it to be on top) in a thin layer over the pastry base and scatter over the spring onions. Arrange the asparagus on top, then carefully pour on the creamy mixture to just below the rim of the pastry. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake for 35 to 45 mins or until the filling is set and golden - I baked mine for 40 mins. Leave to cool in the tin slightly before unmoulding.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Happy Baking
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  1. This savoury tart got me salivating Zoe! Please do keep us updated of the progress of the spring onion after its been transplanted. Would love to grow my own too! Thanks for sharing this lovely recipe, it is going on my to do list. ;)

  2. What a beautiful tart Zoe! I enjoy Gordon Ramsey's recipes - this looks amazing - there's still asparagus available here so we will be enjoying this!

  3. Ooo ..this makes me love Gordon Ramsay even more... haha ^.^

  4. What a pretty looking tart! I would gladly eat my greens with this tart! As usual, if you know me, I won't be making the pastry, will just use frozen readymade pastries.. That's why I always admire you, "hou yau sum kei".. I love this tart Zoe..

  5. Hi Zoe, I always want to make an asparagus tart because I think it looks kinda classy. I shall use this recipe if I ever get to it. And I peel the lower part of asparagus too;-)

  6. What a healthy meal....I have never bake savoury tart like this before...Should try it one day!

  7. another ramsay bake here,delicious and flavorful filling and you are rocking now zoe

  8. Zoe, I love how the asparagus were arranged so neatly on the tart, and this savoury vegetarian tart sure looks crumbly and delicious!

  9. vege tart... nice twist to the normally meaty or carb loaded ones... very beautifully baked

  10. Hi Zoe,
    Such a beautiful and delicious looking tart! This would be a winner in my house, as my kids both love veggies. I can see why the whole tart is gobbled up by the three of you! Looks really yummy!

  11. It's summer here, but winding toward fall. I'm very much looking forward to it.

  12. I can't remember when is the last time I made some tart. Wish I can have some of yours. Looks so tempting. Hope you're having a fabulous week ahead dear.
    Blessings, Kristy

  13. Zoe, your vegetarian tart looks delicious! No wonder it was all gone in one sitting hah..hah...And oh, I learnt something new today - how to plant spring onions!

  14. This looks delicious! I'm currently trying to eat less meat and more veg so this tart will be perfect! Thanks!

  15. This looks absolutely stunning! I've dying for a home made pie tart type thing right now with cheese and onions and bacon!

  16. Looks so delicious. I know I would love it. Thanks for sharing.

  17. Hi Zoe, hmm... what's so funny about peeling the lower part of asparagus? I do that too ... This Asparagus and Spring Onion Tart is so lovely baked ! But my big kids don't take spring onions ... asparagus must be grilled with wrapped bacon. May attempt a very small portion as they like cheesy tart ^-^!

  18. Loving asparagus and loving it with cheese in a tart shell even more! Yummmmm.....

  19. Looks good enough to eat all year round.

  20. I sure would love this vegetarian tart! Love all the fresh spring veggies you can find there now.

  21. First of all, I love asparagus and your tart!!! And secondly, I can finally see your face - no more whisk :D :D :D Swee!

  22. Hi Zoe,
    Your tart looks yummy!
    Love the marching asparagus in your tart she'll :p
    So did your spring onion continue growing? :)