Friday, 8 June 2012

Pea, Asparagus, Mozarella and Smoked Bacon Tart

By the time its gets to late May I am becoming predatory about Garden Peas and Broad Beans. I move from farm shop to supermarket, food festival to market stall on my seemingly never ending search for the first of the seasons Peas or Beans. Well yesterday I found the first! Glorious, sweet garden peas grown in the South West. Stunning. I bought two bags, by the time I got to cooking this recipe I was down to 1 and half bags. This recipe is a celebration of fresh Peas and Asparagus, the fact that I had some Smoked Back Bacon (still warm from the smoker) when I got home, made for this luxuriant Pea recipe even better!

Pea, Asparagus, Mozzarella and Smoked Bacon Tart
For the Pea and Asparagus puree:
(1 1/2 bags) or 750g Fresh Garden Peas
4 Large Spring Onions
8 Asparagus Spears
2 Handfuls of Mint (I used a wonderful Apple Mint from the garden)
Olive Oil
3 Tbsp Soured Cream
Black Pepper
Maldon Salt

Get a saucepan of salted water on the hob and boiling. Also, you’ll need a blender and sieve and one of those slotted spoons. Firstly prep your Asparagus, break of the tough ends and then place in the boiling water for 3 minutes. When cooked, place it in your sieve, run it under cold water (to stop it cooking) and then place in your blender. Next cook the peas (reserve a handful of peas for the topping), two minutes for these, drain and again run the Peas under cold water to prevent them cooking – place in the blender also. Roughly chop your Spring Onions and Mint then add these along with the Soured Cream, seasoning and a good glug of Olive Oil to the blender. Blend until smooth, taste, correct the seasoning if required then set aside.

For the puff pastry tart:

375g Puff Pastry (all Butter)
Bunch of Asparagus
The handful of reserved Peas
3 Rashers of Smoked Bacon
Ball of Mozzarella
1 Egg (for the pastry)
Pea shoots for garnish

It’s a short cut I know, but I bought ready rolled puff pastry (must be the all butter type), with only a small amount of adjustment it fitted on my tin which I had oiled with Olive Oil to prevent it sticking. Using a blunt knife such as a butter knife I gently scored a margin around the edge of the pastry so that the edges can puff up when cooked (about 3 or 4cm in). Take your Pea and Asparagus Puree and spread the puree up to the margin that you have cut, similar to spreading tomato sauce onto a pizza, make sure that you get loads on and you don’t push it over the margins.

Get the oven on to 200 degrees.

Next place the Asparagus spears over the top of the tart, place them how you like, but I tried a more natural pattern. Then tear up your Mozzarella and place this over the tart too. Follow with the chopped Smoked Bacon and then the reserved Peas. Next, quickly whisk up an egg and then using a pastry brush, brush the pastry edge and that’s it.


Place the Pea, Asparagus, Mozzarella and Smoked Bacon Tart into the hot oven and cook for 20 minutes when the fantastic puff pastry would have puffed up and the tart will be looking glorious.


Decorate with Pea shoots and eat quickly. Fresh, smoky, yummy. Try it!

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