Wednesday, 7 May 2014


I am one of those people who doesn't like change and loves routine - I think that is one of the reasons I love Bikram Yoga so much, as you just do the same thing over and over and over again….some people's nightmare!!! 

Most weekday mornings I have the same routine - take Arabella to school, watch Lorraine and then go to yoga and I love it however I am not loving the show's new set up, especially the cooking part. They now spread the cooking out over the whole program, dipping in and out, so it is not as easy to follow…I might start a campaign to bring back the old show!!!

Thankfully it is easy to print out the recipes online and so last week I made their cheese and asparagus tart with a roasted tomato salad (with a couple of alterations). Asparagus is only in season in Britain for 6 weeks a year so this is the perfect time to make this.

Ingredients for 4 adults:

For the tart:

Puff Pastry (I buy the green Jus roll one - 320g)
A little flour to sprinkle on the tray
1 egg, beaten
200g Gruyere, sliced
120g ricotta
100g marscapone
3 tbsp Parmesan, grated
3 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped
3 tbsp tarragon, chopped
1 bunch of asparagus, trimmed
Salt and pepper to season

For the salad:

12 plum tomatoes (or however many you fancy, I had a few more as I love tomatoes)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 bunch of basil
2 large garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper to season

A lot of ingredients!!

As always preheat the oven to a low heat - I did 110 C (I think my oven is fan assisted)! 

First things first you need to make the tomato salad, this is what takes the longest to cook. It is super simple. Cut the tomatoes in half in a roasting tray and season with salt and pepper. In a bowl, mix the garlic, olive oil and vinegar together.

Dip the basil leaves in the bowl and then place them on top of the tomatoes. I then poured the left over mixture over the tomatoes.

Roast the tomatoes for 50-60 minutes until the edges start to blacken. Leave to cool when ready.

While these were cooking I prepared the ingredients for the tart but I could not cook it at the same time as I only have one oven. You need to remember to take the pastry out of the fridge 10 minutes before you roll it out.

So for the tart, preheat the oven to 180 C, and sprinkle some flour on to your tray. Then roll out the pastry on to your tray. I don't have a tray big enough so use a dish, it doesn't make a difference other than maybe in appearance of the tart. You can trim the edges of the pastry if you want, it is up to you, I didn't.

Score the boarder and prick the base with a fork.

Brush the edges of the tart with a beaten egg and bake for 15 minutes.

This is the first time I have ever blind baked before and now understand why you have those baking balls - they always confused me before. I don't have any but it didn't matter as you can just squash it down if the tart rises too much, which is what I did.

While this is baking, mix in a bowl the ricotta, marscapone, herbs and half the Parmesan and season.

Break the asparagus at the bendy bit - it's amazing how easily they break.

When the 15 minutes is up, squash the centre of the tart if it has risen.

Spread the cheese mixture over the tart.

Cover with the Gruyere.

Finally add the asparagus, alternating the direction of the tips. Brush with a little olive oil and sprinkle over the remaining Parmesan. Then bake for 20 minutes.

Finally serve with the tomato salad.

This was really, really good. So good that we all had seconds! Really cheesy but not overpowering and the asparagus so fresh and flavoursome. A really good combination together. I loved the tomato salad and will definitely be cooking this again with other dishes too - maybe a white fish. 

Even though the recipe takes a while to cook, it is super easy and I would really recommend it. We enjoyed it so much we are having it again this week and I might even add some peas too….a good way to eat more veg!

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