Asparagus and smoked salmon tart
Sparrispaj med rökt lax
An attractive and delicious spring tart which is well worth making when locally grown asparagus is at its best.
This recipe has been adapted from a recipe by Maud Onnermark in Mat Magasinet (The Food Magazine), which is one of Sweden’s best food magazines. I normally bake it in May when locally grown asparagus is at its best. John Duxbury
• Choose a mild smoked salmon to avoid overpowering the asparagus.
• If you want to reduce the fat content use Philadelphia Lightest instead of the Light version. It is not quite as easy to incorporate, but the taste and texture is still good.
• The original recipe used 5 tablespoons of dill and 5 of chives. Our tasters thought there was too much dill, but feel free to use the amounts in the original recipe to get a really strong Swedish taste!
• The original recipe also added salt to the cheese mixture, but our tasters thought that there was enough salt in the smoked salmon so that it didn’t need any more, but then they were all British!
|250 g*||(9 oz)*||chilled puff pastry, ready rolled|
|2||eggs, lightly beaten|
|200 g||(7 oz)||light philadephia cheese|
|2 tbsp||dill, finely chopped|
|2 tbsp||chives, finely chopped|
|freshly ground white pepper|
|400 g||(1 lb)||green asparagus spears|
|200 g||(7 oz)||smoked salmon, sliced|
*A 325 g (11 oz) pack also works well.
1. Remove the pastry from the fridge about 10 minutes before you will need to unroll it.
2. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F, gas 6, fan 180°C).
3. Unroll the puff pastry and lay it on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment. The pastry should be at least 30 cm x 20 cm (12” x 8”) and no more than 35 cm x 25 cm (14" x 10").
4. Use a sharp knife to mark a 2.5 cm (1”) border round the sheet, cutting half way through the pastry. Brush the edge of the pastry with beaten egg, reserving the rest for the filling. Bake the case for 10 minutes, until the pastry begins to turn golden brown.
5. Meanwhile, mix the cheese, dill, chives and egg, then season to taste with freshly ground white pepper.
6. Snap the ends off the asparagus spears and discard the woody bits (or keep for soup). Toss the spears lightly in oil.
7. Cut round the inside edge of the pastry frame with a sharp knife and lightly press the pastry down inside the frame the middle, taking care not to spoil the frame.
8. Add the smoked salmon, then pour in the cheese mixture and finally add the oiled asparagus spears. Bake in the bottom half of the oven for 20-25 minutes until the filling is set.
9. Leave to cool for a couple of minutes and then serve with a mixed salad garnished with thinly sliced fennel and lemon zest.
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