Favorite line: “There are no two words in the English language more harmful than good job.”
Oscar nominated Whiplash was gripping and heartbreaking to watch as Fletcher (played by J.K. Simmons) verbally abuses his music student, Andrew in an effort to elicit the top performance. Today’s pairing of food and film was inspired by the scene in which Andrew’s uncle waves a spear of asparagus during dinner and declares that playing sports has greater value than playing the drums.
Cher Eric Lanlard, one of my favorite chefs, has a wonderful recipe for Spring Green Tart in his fabulous cookbook Tart It Up! The asparagus spears actually reminded me of drum sticks so that makes this recipe even more appealing. I even made my very first pastry crust for this dish. If I can do it, you can do it! Enjoy the festivities of Oscars and please follow me on twitter @mcsweeney as I tweet from Vanity Fair Social Club #VFSC. Take a moment and savor the day!
Spring Garden Green Tart
Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus chilling
Cooking time: 50 minutes
butter, for greasing
all-purpose flour, for dusting
about 3/4 quantity (11 1/2 oz) flaky pastry dough (page 10)
7 0z green asparagus, ends trimmed
1/2 cup fresh peas
1/2 cup fresh lava beans
1/3 cup Greek yogurt
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon fresh lemon thyme leaves
1 tablespoon snipped chives
1 1/4 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Butter a 10 1/2 x 8 inch rectangular tart pan, 1 1/4 inches deep. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface and use it to line the pan. Lightly prick the bottom with a fork. let rest in the refrigerator while preparing the filling.
Bring a saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the asparagus and cook for 5 minutes, or until cooked but still firm. Remove with a slotted spoon and refresh under cold running water. Repeat with the peas, cooking them for 3 minutes, then the lava beans, cooking them for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350º F.
Beat the eggs in a bowl and add the yogurt, cream, wine, and finally the fresh herbs. Beat well to blend, then season with salt and pepper.
Cover the bottom of the pastry shell with half the Parmesan and arrange the asparagus, peas and beans over the top in an attractive way. Carefully pour the egg mixture over the vegetables – it should come right to the top and cook for 30-35 minutes, or until set and golden.