Rustic Asparagus Tart with Caramelized Leeks and Prosciutto

Rustic Asparagus Tart with Caramelized Leeks and Prosciutto

Store-bought puff pastry is a staple in my freezer and comes in wonderfully handy when you need to whip up something quick and impressive.  Its delicate crunch and rich, buttery flavor make this quick tart both sophisticated and casual.  It would be delicious served with a fruity Riesling.

Total Time: approximately 1 hour

Ingredients

1 sheet store-bought puff pastry

1 lb. asparagus, woody ends removed, chopped diagonally to ¾ inch pieces

2 small leeks, cleaned and roughly chopped

¼ c. Gruyere cheese, grated

2 slices of thinly sliced Italian prosciutto, torn into small, bite size pieces

1 Tbsp. fresh thyme

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

First, defrost puff pastry according to package instructions.  Roll pastry out to roughly

9 x 9 inches.  Using a paring knife, carefully score a 3/4-inch border around the edge of the pastry, creating an edge that will puff up when baked.  Be careful not to cut completely through the pastry.  Pierce the bottom of the pastry with a fork to keep it from rising in the oven.

With a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add asparagus, stirring occasionally.  Once slightly browned and caramelized (approximately 5 minutes) add leeks, stirring occasionally.  Add thyme and season with kosher salt and pepper.  Continue to stir occasionally.  Once leeks are softened and caramelized turn off heat.

Tear prosciutto into smaller, bite size pieces.  Do not try to make everything perfect; this is an earthly and free-form tart.  It should look homemade.

Pour asparagus and leek mixture into pastry base and sprinkle with the Gruyere cheese.  Finally, lay the torn prosciutto pieces over the top of the tart.

Bake in the oven until pastry has risen and is lightly golden in color, approximately 45 minutes.  Cut into four pieces and serve with a mesclun salad.

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