English Asparagus Tart

English asparagus tart with goat's cheese, watercress pesto and fried egg- Serves 2

This Sunday, why not experiment with this delicious tart, a perfect vegetarian alternative to your traditional Easter lamb.


1 x A4 sized sheet of puff pastry

10x asparagus tips

200g goats’ cheese

3x eggs (1 for egg wash, 2 for frying)

250g watercress

1x clove garlic

50g parmesan

50g pine nuts

1x lemon

150ml rape seed oil

Black pepper

Sea salt

To make the watecress pesto:

- Finely grate the garlic clove and the parmesan

- Pick the leaves from the stalk of the watercress, keep the leaves to one side and finely chop the stalks

- Into a food processor, place the pine nuts, garlic, parmesan and watercress stalks with 75ml of the rape seed oil and blitz

- When the mix looks smooth add the leaves of the watercress and blitz again slowly adding the remaining rape seed oil

- Once the correct texture is achieved, season with plenty of freshly ground black pepper and the zest of the lemon (do not add the juice as this will make the pesto go brown)

- Then reserve ready to serve (this is best made on the day).

For the tart    

- Take the sheet of puff pastry and fold over a 1cm lip on all 4 sides to make a border. Beat one egg and season with a little salt and pepper and brush this evenly over the pastry

- Allow to set in the fridge for 10 min, then with a fork prick the centre of the tart in 5-6 places, and light score the pastry with a knife just inside the border  

- Blind bake the tart base at 180oc for 16-18 min, or until the pastry is evenly cooked and golden brown

- Remove the tart from the oven and allow to cool on a cooling rack, the centre of the tart will have risen, once cold this can be pushed down flat again

- Remove the barbs from the sides of the asparagus and trim to a length that will fit the tart base

- Cook the asparagus in boiling salted water until tender and then place into ice water to cool

- Take ¾ of the goats’ cheese and spread on to the bottom of the tart

- Make sure the asparagus is drained from the ice water and dry, then place in a line on top of the goats’ cheese on the tart

- Brush the asparagus with a little rape seed oil and season with sea salt and pepper

- Crumble the remaining goats’ cheese on top

- Cook the whole tart  at 175oc for 6 min, ensuring the goats cheese is melted

To serve  

- Fry your two eggs

- While the tart is still hot from the oven, generously spoon over the watercress pesto

- Place the fried eggs on the top and serve. 

 Recipe courtesy of Adam Smith, Executive Chef at Coworth Park