Bring on the fresh tastes of spring with these simple yet sophisticated Asparagus and Mushroom Tarts with Goat Cheese and Tarragon. They’re a delicious, vegetarian option that can play a dual role on your buffet as an appetizer or side dish.
These asparagus and mushroom tarts are downright addicting. Gruyere partners with goat cheese to create a tangy coating for the vegetables. The flavor is brightened with fresh tarragon and lemon. The mixture then melts lusciously into the pastry as the crust puffs up around the filling. Good luck stopping at one!
Give the asparagus, mushrooms, and shallots a head start with a quick sauté. Use asparagus that’s slender but not super skinny, otherwise they’ll disintegrate in the oven. On the flip side, avoid thick spears unless you cut them in smaller pieces and blanch them first so they’re not tough. The cheeses, tarragon, and lemon zest are blended in once the pan comes off the burner. This can be made a day ahead of assembling as well. A party-prepping plus!
For the dough, using frozen puff pastry is a real time saver. It thaws in 30-40 minutes and rolls out easily. Make an indentation in the crust with either the rim of a wide glass or a knife. The circle acts as a guide when mounding the filling on the pastry. Just be sure not to go all the way through! Transfer the scored rectangles onto large, rimmed baking sheets lined with parchment for easy clean up and prevent sticking.
Building these beauties is my favorite part. Using the circle as a guide, mound the filling evenly between the twelve tarts. Brushing the exposed edges of the pastry with an egg wash will give the crust a shiny, golden luster. Lastly, flakes of freshly grated Parmesan is the finishing touch before popping them in the oven.
They need to bake for 18 minutes max. Start checking after 15 so they don’t get too dark. If you make the filling the day before, bring it to room temperature before assembling, otherwise the asparagus may not get as tender. Notice below how the filling keeps the center of the pastry from expanding, which allows the edges to rise and cradle the asparagus and mushrooms. The golden crust is slightly crispy outside, but light, flaky, and tender inside.
When serving, you can even go fork-free with these self-contained nests. We’re a pretty casual crew and devour them as finger food. Should there be any leftover, wrap in foil and have yourself a tasty reheated treat the next day. Psst – have a good hiding spot in the fridge! 🙂
Looking for additional asparagus inspiration? Check out our Sesame Beef Stir Fry with Asparagus and Sweet Potato and Cod Asparagus Fennel Packets. Cheers!
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 12 ounces mushrooms, ¼-inch slices (I use a blend of shiitake and crimini)
- 1 lb asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 – 1 ½-inch pieces
- 1 medium shallot, chopped (about ⅓ cup)
- ½ cup goat cheese
- ½ cup (packed) freshly grated gruyere
- 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- Salt and pepper
- 1 17.3- ounce package frozen puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 teaspoons milk
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms. Sauté until starting to brown and soften, about 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add asparagus and shallots to skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté mixture 3 minutes more. Remove from heat. Stir in goat cheese and gruyere until combined. Mix in tarragon and lemon zest. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before continuing.)
Preheat oven to 400°F. Roll out each pastry sheet on a lightly floured work surface to 12x10-inch rectangles. Cut each into six 4x5-inch rectangles for a total of twelve. Use the rim of a glass or a knife to create a circle inside each rectangle. Stay within at least ½-inch of the edge. Do not cut all the way through! Arrange rectangles on 2 large, rimmed baking sheets lined with parchment. Evenly mound filling on top of the 12 pastries. Keep mixture inside the circles. Combine beaten egg and milk in a small bowl. Brush egg wash on edges of dough. Sprinkle grated Parmesan on top of prepared tarts, as desired. Bake 15-18 minutes until crusts are golden and puffed, and filling is cooked through. Transfer to serving platter. Grate additional Parm over warm tarts. Enjoy!
*Recipe generously adapted from Bon Appétit, April 2009