Asparagus Tart with Poached Eggs and Hollandaise

This was a dish I prepared on a rainy summer evening when I wanted something hot for dinner, but also something different. A dish very much created from what I had in the refrigerator that evening, it is like a lot of things meals I make, often by the seat of my pants but based on a comment or two from my wife or in this instance one of many food photos that my daughter sends me from her dining experiences in Chicago or during her travels.

While a bit of a lark for a “Breakfast for Dinner” concept, the dish is elegant enough for guests and the asparagus tart is wonderful on its own. Most of the preparation is quite easy, although some may find hollandaise difficult or at least intimidating. I always make hollandaise it in a blender, and after a few initial frantic attempts, I found it quite easy with a little careful prep. The recipe for hollandaise can be found here, along with some useful tips. See the post on this site entitled Breakfast for Dinner for additional preparation tips.

I used two thirds of a half package of Pepperidge Farm Frozen Puff Pastry, which I had on hand. An entire package would be enough for six tarts by increasing the other ingredients proportionally from below.

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  • 1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and prepare the filling for the tart by combining the first four ingredients.
  • 2. Roll the dough slightly and cut it into two rectangles, each approximately 4 x 6 inches. The length of the tart should be the length of the trimmed asparagus plus a small border on each end. Place the trimmed rectangles on a parchment covered sheet pan.
  • 3. With a sharp knife, score the border around the perimeter of each rectangle trying not to cut entirely through the thickness of the dough. Within each scored rectangle, prick the dough with a fork repeatedly to prevent some of the lift during baking.
  • 4. Spread half of the cream cheese mixture on each of the tart dough rectangles, keeping it within the scored border. Add five trimmed asparagus spears on top of the filling mixture on each tart, alternating the orientation of each spear. Brush the asparagus with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Brush the border of each tart with the egg wash and place in the oven for approximately 25 to 30 minutes until the pastry is completely cooked and browned and the asparagus is cooked through.
  • 5. Allow the tart to cool for a few minutes while you finish prepare the hollandaise and poaching the eggs.
  • 6. When the hollandaise and eggs are complete, place the tarts on a plates and top each with two poached eggs and a quarter cup of the hollandaise. Dust with paprika and garnish with the chopped chives and serve immediately.