It is great having visitors, and in Rome we get many. Friends need a map, and a steady supply of prosecco/wine/limoncello/amaro, that is easy. Relatives coming with children, that is something else. They will ruthlessly rummage though your fridge and cupboards, looking for ketchup/hot dogs/juice/Nutella (insert various items we do not have.) So I am tidying up the fridge to make room for child-friendly food and large bits of watermelon, while looking forward to touring gelaterias and finally watching “Frozen” with my nieces. I bringing this to The Novice Gardeners Fiesta Friday 22, with apologies for being late, and am off to browse the gorgeous dishes there next.
1 plain tart base (of course it is far better if you make your own, but in World Cup month I feel justified in taking a short cut, and bought pasta sfoglia, puff pastry)
200 gr smoked salmon
1 bunch of green asparagus (about 500 gr)
Handful of fresh basil
Pinch of black pepper
50 ml milk
100 gr blue cheese (or plain cheese if you prefer)
50 gr hard cheese (I used pecorino stagionato)
Pre-heat your oven to 190C. Press out or roll out tart base in a 25 cm tin. If you have a loose bottomed one, super. Pre-bake base for ten minutes. I pricked the base several times with a fork so ii would not puff up too much. Best to trim extra overhanging pastry after this first bake, as pastry will shrink during baking, though I generally forget that!
Wash the asparagus, and cut it into 3-4 cm pieces, saving some tops to decorate the tart. Not too large pieces, as you want them to cook through. Dice the smoked salmon. Crumble the blue cheese. Take the half-baked base out of the oven. Distribute asparagus and smoked salmon on pastry base, crumble over blue cheese and fresh basil. Beat eggs and milk, add pepper, and pour this over asparagus and salmon. Crumble hard cheese on top.
Bake at 190C for 45 minutes until firm and nicely golden.
Notes: This was concocted to use up blue cheese, left over from pasta with fresh figs, blue cheese, pancetta and basil. I wondered if it would be a bit odd with the smoked salmon, but it was very nice, and was good cold for lunch the next day too.
PS I confess, we broke down and just bought a small second fridge. I had been saving up for a romantic sixth anniversary weekend away, but between the World Cup and a deadline for my husband, that was not possible. So I ordered a fridge. Hopefully it arrives before the next guests do.