June got here before I could do anything about it. I made this recipe last month and had all the intention to share it. One thing led to another, and before I could blink, I was on a plane on my way down to South America. I will share more about my trip in future posts. Actually, I will share a lot about my journey; I brought back some amazing recipes passed down from family and friends, and I can’t wait to share them with you.
In the meantime, I was focusing on the gorgeous asparagus found at the market in the spring. On my previous post, I wrote about how much we love to eat asparagus in everything when is fresh. I ran across some of my own notes in my recipe notebook and saw: “how about a quinoa tart?” Although I couldn’t remember what exactly I had in mind when I wrote that, I thought quinoa + cheese + asparagus sounds splendid to me! I made this Asparagus Tart with Quinoa Crust for breakfast, but it could easily make a side dish and even a great snack.
For this tart, you could use leftover quinoa, or you could make it the night before. I love how the crunchy texture of the quinoa makes a nice bite with the creamy cheese and the roasted flavor of the thin asparagus on top. You can be creative and add more flavor with extra ingredients, or keep it simple as I did. I hope you have time to try this asparagus tart this season. Let’s get cooking!
(you will need a tart or quiche pan, I used a 14×5″ rectangular quiche pan)
3/4 cup quinoa
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 cup gouda cheese, shredded
8 asparagus spears
Salt to taste
Cook the quinoa:
Here is how I always cook quinoa, it turns out al dente which is how I like it. The quinoa water ratio is 1 to 1 1/2. First, soak the quinoa in cold water for few minutes, remove anything that floats to the top, strain and rinse one more time under running water. Place a small pan over medium heat, add butter, when it is bubbling add the quinoa and toast it in the butter for 2 minutes. Add 1 + 1/4 cup of water and a pinch of salt. Stir with a wooden spoon, cover and cook until the water is gone and the quinoa is cooked through about 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and let cool.
Preheat the oven to 350° F. in a medium bowl beat the egg, add the quinoa, smoked paprika, and a pinch of salt. Add the quinoa mix onto a medium quiche pan, spread with your fingers or using the back of a spatula, covering the entire surface with a thin layer. Bake for 10 minutes. In the meantime, using a vegetable peeler, shave the asparagus grabbing it by the tip on top of a cutting board, keep the tips and slice them in halves. They make the tart beautiful.
When the quinoa tart has baked for ten minutes, carefully bring out of the oven, add the shredded cheese and place shaved asparagus on top including the asparagus tip halves. Return to the oven for another 10 or 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and the asparagus starts to char on top. Serve warm. Enjoy!