May10, 2019
This is about...
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        MOTHER'S DAY IS RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER. And fresh spring asparagus are everywhere. With it's phyllo base and bright green spears, this tart looks complicated and very pretty, but it couldn't be simpler. Plus, IT'S PERFECT FOR MOTHER'S DAY.
        And, if you are a phyllo novice, this is the tart to get you started. THERE'S NO CUTTING, ROLLING, CRIMPING, OR MEASURING. JUST STACK THE LAYERS OF PHYLLO brushed with oil and butter one on top of the other, spread on a filling and top with a tumble of asparagus.

LESSONS Learned:
1. It's best to defrost the phyllo by placing it in the fridge the night before. But if you forget, you can give it 3 hours at room temperature the day of.
2. You need to remove the woody stems from the asparagus. My preferred way is to hold one end in each hand and snap. It will break where the woody part ends. If you think you're discarding a lot, save the stems for veggie stock. And, thinner to medium size stalks are best. The really fat ones won't cook through.
3. Keep the phyllo covered. It dries out very quickly.
4. When layering the phyllo, it's easiest to stack them when you hold the longer ends. Don't worry about perfection, just stack them as best you can.

A Springtime Phyllo Asparagus Tart

1 pound asparagus, thin or medium size spears, woody stems removed
1 Tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper for sprinkling
1 egg yolk
2 Tablespoons sour cream or heavy cream
1 1/2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
2 Tablespoons olive oil 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
12 sheets phyllo, from one 1/2 package, covered
3/4-1 cup Gruyere cheese grated, about 4 ounces
1/4 cup parmesan cheese plus 2 Tablespoons for sprinkling

Make the tart:
        Place the rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Line a baking pan with parchment. Set aside.
        On a cutting board or flat surface, drizzle the asparagus with the olive and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Set aside.
        In a small bowl, combine the egg yolk, sour cream, Dijon, parsley and thyme. In another small bowl, combine the olive oil and butter.
        Open the package of phyllo and keep covered with the wrapping or saran wrap. Place one sheet on the parchment, and lightly brush with the olive oil mixture. Place a second sheet on top of the first. It's easiest to lay it from the long side. Lightly brush, and continue with all of the sheets.
        Spread the egg mixture on top of the phyllo, leaving about an 1/2 inch border. Evenly sprinkle the 2 cheeses on top of the filling, and lay the asparagus in one layer on top. I like to alternate the tops and bottoms. Sprinkle with the 2 Tablespoons of parmesan cheese, and bake for 25-30 minutes until the edges are browned and crisp, and the asparagus are softened.

Makes 6 servings.       YUM!
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