Tuesday 1 May 2018

Rice and asparagus tart

15 minutes to prepare • 40 Serves 4



Alright, Spring, do your thing.

In winter, the constant desire to have something delicious baking in the oven, warming and perfuming the house, has me making a lot of tarts.
Now, spring is coming. It is time to switch to savoury tarts!

I love them: add a pile of lightly dressed greens and you’ve got a meal, but cut off a sliver a few hours later and it’s a perfectly acceptable snack. And - like many of my most favorite baked goods-, they are open to tons of possibilities, which leaves the window wide open for creative combinations.

Today I introduce you to a tasty, brand new recipe: a savoury tart made of rice, seasoned with besciamella sauce and asparagus.
Tender, grassy, and sweet, asparagus is at its best when freshly picked, but its season is a short one, so we must hurry and include the gems of springtime in our meals while we can!

Here's what you will need for the 4-serving recipe:

250 g Carnaroli rice 
15 asparagus
120 g butter
80 g grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg white
200 ml milk
20 g flour 00
EVO oil
salt and pepper

  1. Pour 1 l of water in another pot and bring to boil. Pour rice into the pot, and go on with the cooking for about 12 minutes
  2. Meanwhile, rinse the asparagus under cool water to remove any grit. Snap off the bottom inch using your fingers; the stems will naturally break where the tough woody part ends and the tender stem begins
  3. Peel asparagus' tough outer skin
  4. Pour 1 l of water in a large pot and bring to boil. As soon as the water boils, dip asparagus in the pot, and go on with the cooking for about 2 minutes
  5. Preheat oven to 200°C
  6. Drain rice and place it in a large bowl. Add 100 g of butter, grated Parmesan cheese, the egg white, a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper and mix well
  7. Pour the rice mixture on a baking tray covered by baking paper. Level it with a spoon so that it is 2-3 mm thick
  8. Bake the rice at 180° for 20 minutes
  9. Drain asparagus' and place them on a cutting board. Separate the stems from the tips, then chop the stems into thin slices while keeping the tips aside
  10. Pour 1 tablespoon of EVO oil in a pan, and add the asparagus. Add a pinch of salt and pan-fry for a couple of minutes
  11. Prepare besciamella sauce: melt 20 g of butter in a saucepan. Stir in the flour and cook the mixture for just under a minute. Then, stir in milk, a little at a time, making sure to stir well so that no lumps form.
    Bring the mixture to the boil, stirring constantly, so that the mixture thickens and becomes glossy. Boil for a couple of minutes
  12. Take the rice tart out of the oven and season it with besciamella sauce and asparagus
  13. Place the tray back in the oven and grill it for 5 minutes, until the top becomes golden. Serve warm with fresh basil leaves on top

In the following, Nutrition Facts of this dish are indicated. Data is provided per serving.

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