17 June 2010

Asparagus and Potato Tart

I love cable. Since there are so many channels, they are always showing re-runs of shows I never watched in the first place. Recently, I saw a sitcom called King of Queens. One of the minor characters, Spencer, is played by Patton Oswalt who I find rather amusing. In this episode, Spencer just got a TIVO and after seeing the programs it records, he becomes convinced his TIVO thinks he's gay. He tries watching a lot of sports, but the more football he watches, the more TIVO records ice skating and women's golf.

My TIVO thinks I am a serial killer with a fondness for British food. It ALWAYS tapes Criminal Minds, Criminal Intent and Jamie Oliver. It should know by now that I have seen every Criminal Mind, Criminal Intent and Jamie Oliver ever recorded, but for some reason, TIVO thinks I want to see them, again.

I was flipping through this week and found Jamie at Home featuring asparagus. I had seen it at least 3 times but I had a big bunch of asparagus, so I watched as Jamie made his Crispy and Delicious Asparagus and Potato Tart. The recipe called for filo dough which I didn't have and Lancashire cheese which I didn't have, but I wouldn't let a little thing like missing ingredients stop me.

I did have a store bought pie crust, alas round and not oblong like I needed. I had lots of cheddar from Vermont, so I was good. The recipe is basically mashed potatoes with cheese in a crust topped with asparagus. Add a couple of eggs to your mashed potatoes so they set up and be sure and season them well. How hard is that. Well, Jamie tries to make it a bit harder. Here's his recipe:

Crispy and Delicious Asparagus and Potato Tart

1 pound potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
Sea salt
1 pound asparagus spears, woody ends removed
8 ounces filo pastry
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup freshly grated Lancashire cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Cheddar
3 large organic or free-range eggs
1 (8-ounce) container heavy cream
1/4 whole fresh nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper


Put your potatoes into a pan of salted boiling water and cook for 15 minutes. Meanwhile blanch your asparagus in a separate pan of salted boiling water for 4 minutes, and drain in a colander.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Get an ovenproof dish - I've used many different shapes and sizes. Layer the sheets of filo pastry in the dish, brushing them with melted butter as you go and letting about 1-inch hang over the edge. You want to get the pastry about 5 layers thick. Put a clean, damp kitchen towel over the top and put aside.

When the potatoes are done, mash them with the cheeses. In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs and cream and stir into your cheesy mashed potato. Grate in the nutmeg, season well with pepper and mix together. Spread the mashed potato over the filo pastry, then bring up the sides of the filo and scrunch them together to form a rim. Take your blanched asparagus and line them up across the filling, making sure you cover it all. Brush all over with the remaining melted butter and pop into the preheated oven for around 20 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Allow to rest for 10 minutes. Serve just as you would a quiche for a quick lunch or supper, with a salad.
Gotta run now, I'm making a pud and looking for the perfect place to hide a body!


  1. Dear Lucinda..
    This is yummy comfort food to me. Thank you for sharing. Oh, and make sure to eat a hearty portion of it before you go out on your next serial spree. Nourishment is fuel for such daunting tasks! ;)

  2. Recipe duly printed out, ingredients to be picked up at Farmer's market tomorrow...can't wait


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