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Asparagus, Basil, & Cream Cheese Tart with Optional Bacon

Asparagus. Basil. Cream cheese. I call this the ABC tart! Not really, because I just thought of it. But I should, because it’s totally fitting – this asparagus cream cheese tart is definitely as easy as ABC, 123.

Asparagus Cream Cheese Tart with Optional Bacon | Kitchen Treaty

You mix together a simple cream cheese base, and spread it on a golden-brown puff pastry crust. Then you top it with lightly blanched asparagus and touch of salt. And then you bake it for a few minutes. And that’s it! Unless you want to add bacon, in which case, crumble some cooked bacon on top, and then that’s it.

Either way, it’s heaven on a tart. Super duper easy heaven on a tart.

Asparagus Cream Cheese Tart with Optional Bacon | Kitchen Treaty

I love this tart for Easter, because not only does it work for any meal from breakfast to brunch to lunch to snack to supper, but the simple preparation helps free you up for family fun time. Like hiding plastic Easter eggs – and finding one or two from last year while you’re at it. Or picking strands of green plastic grass out of the dog’s hair. Or … well, you know what I’m getting at.

Our family actually keeps Easter pretty exciting. My parents devise a grand adult Easter egg hunt, and each year tops the last. This year’s competition includes an egg roll event and archery. Archery! I’m not even kidding! I so totally can’t wait. We’re dorks.

I’m thinking this asparagus tart will be my contribution to the family meal, because then I can spend my time practicing for the big event instead of slaving in the kitchen. And if I told you that I have been seriously considering practicing egg rolling in our driveway in preparation for the big day, I would not be lying.

Howdy, neighbors. Don’t mind me.

Asparagus Cream Cheese Tart with Optional Bacon | Kitchen Treaty

Anyway, a little more about the tart. The crust is made from store-bought puff pastry – easy! The tangy-creamy base, compliments of cream cheese (I go for Neufchâtel to save a bit on fat/calories), amps up the flavor along with a little onion, garlic, and basil stirred in for good measure. And then those glorious, plump, verdant stalks of asparagus, all in a row.

Asparagus Cream Cheese Tart with Optional Bacon | Kitchen Treaty

Simple, easy, good springtime fare. ABC, 123.

Print Recipe

Asparagus, Basil, & Cream Cheese Tart with Optional Bacon

Tender asparagus and tangy basil cream cheese tops golden, flaky puff pastry in this delicious (and easy!) vegetarian tart. Just top individual squares with a bit of bacon for the carnivores.

Yield: 8 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 22 minutes

Total Time: 42 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 frozen puff pastry sheet, thawed
  • 4 ounces Neufchatel cheese (light cream cheese), room temperature/softened
  • 1/4 cup finely diced onion
  • 1 medium garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (about 15 medium-sized leaves)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus a little more for sprinkling on top, if desired
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

If adding bacon:

  • 2-3 slices of bacon, cooked, cooled, and crumbled

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place thawed pastry on a lightly floured rolling space and, using a rolling iron, roll into a 10-inch by 14-inch rectangle.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and carefully transfer the puff pastry to the baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit until cool, at least 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, add the cream cheese, onion, garlic, basil, salt, and pepper to a small bowl. Mix together with a fork. Set aside.
  4. Bring a large bot of water to a boil. Prepare a large bowl with cold water and ice. Add asparagus to the boiling water and cook for one minute. With tongs, lift the asparagus out of the boiling water and dunk in the ice water to help stop the cooking.
  5. Make a pile of 3 - 4 paper towels and move asparagus to the paper towels. Gently blot until dry. Add asparagus to a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to coat.
  6. Spoon cream cheese onto cooled puff pastry crust. Spread to within 1/2 inch of the edge. Arrange asparagus on top of cream cheese layer. Sprinkle with a pinch or two of coarse salt, if desired.
  7. Return tart to oven and bake for about 10 minutes, until cream cheese is warm and asparagus is tender.
  8. If adding bacon, sprinkle it on after baking, or cut into squares and top individual squares if desired.

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6 Responses to “Asparagus, Basil, & Cream Cheese Tart with Optional Bacon”

  1. Jo from yummyvege posted on April 18, 2014 at 3:14 am

    This looks sooooo delicious. Love it!

    • Karen Troughton replied on April 18th, 2014 on 7:09 am

      Thank you, Jo!

  2. Mary posted on April 18, 2014 at 4:48 am

    Looks yummy! Hint: Try rolling out the puff pastry on the parchment paper and then transfer both to your baking sheet.

    • Karen Troughton replied on April 18th, 2014 on 7:10 am

      This is so smart! I’m a little embarrassed I’ve never thought to do it. :) Brilliant; thanks!

  3. Courtney @The Fig Tree posted on April 18, 2014 at 6:59 am

    Oh dear, this looks soooo yummy!!! I love all of the flavours. Great way to use asparagus this season :) Have a great Easter weekend!

  4. Natural posted on April 30, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    Thanks for those recipes LOVE <3 sparagus, Basil, & Cream Cheese

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