I am a new mother.
But not of a human. Had ya going for a second, right?
And not of any other mammal or amphibian or crustacean …
But of herbs. Oregano, rosemary, basil, and mint.
They are just sprouting through … those tiny seeds that were no bigger than a grain of sand are popping up and saying ‘hello, world!’…and I am scared to death that I am going to kill them.
This has got to be what it feels like to leave the hospital with a newborn. I don’t know, but if the anxiety is anywhere close to this, whoa! am I unprepared for parenthood!
But I am also dizzy with excitement for nuturing my little guys into mature plants and reaping the benefit of their harvest. I am planning on buckets of pesto and pints of mint syrup for juleps and ice cream.
Totally stoked over here. I peak in on them daily … several times a day – lets be honest.
I am not the only one intrigued. Stan noses them daily.
LOOK AT THEM! Gah!
I will need to transplant them once they get stronger into individual little pods. I have thoroughly Googled this. I am to pick them up by just the teeny weeny leaves and I am NOT TO TOUCH the stem as that will crush the poor little suckers, forever stunting their growth and killing them. The horror! I practiced the technique tonight. I think I have got it down.
If this pans out…I WILL NEVER SHUT UP ABOUT HOW I STARTED AN HERB GARDEN FROM SEEDS. NEVER. I will carry pictures around on my phone and flash them about more than a new mom of a 7lb 8oz baby boy. There will be Facebook posts dedicated to the herbs on Memorial Day. The herbs celebrating July 4th under the fireworks. The rosemary basking by the pool, wiggling its little stems. They will flood the pages of my Instagram. You all will unfriend me … at least my brothers will.
Totally worth it…because MY HERBS ARE ACTUALLY GROWING!!!
And while we wait … like good expectant mothers – Asparagus and gruyere cheese tart will hold us over. It is like eating pints of ice cream and pickles while we are pregnant … gotta do something while we wait. Some mothers choose Cheetos dipped in ketchup…while I go straight for cheese and butter laden puff pastry. To each their own.
Gather ingredients…Trick to working fast in the kitchen? Coral all elements of the recipe…the ingredients, the bakeware, measuring spoons…get it. All of it.
This go around. Asparagus. Gruyere Cheese. Puff pastry. Baking sheet. Parchment paper. Salt. Pepper. Olive Oil. Egg wash. Forgo the million bowls unless you like little bowls, then be my guest, and can we be best friends forever and ever?
Puff pastry from your local frozen section because well, puff pastry from scratch is a bit bonkers and something I have totally looked into doing. It involves more butter than I am comfortable talking about.
Please, I beg of you, double and triple check the ingredient list before purchasing your puff pastry. There are a ton of ‘name brand’ ones out there WITHOUT BUTTER in them. A lot of partially hydrogenated fats but no butter. And it will say butter (first or second ingredient) if butter is within those thin layers of pastry.
Brush with egg wash…there was a time in my life when I didn’t have a pastry brush and each and every time I stood in front of the wall of gadgets in the Beyond section of Bed, Bath, and Beyond I could never, for the life of me, remember a pastry brush. Or a garlic press.
Ever try to spread egg wash without a brush? IMPOSSIBLE.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Gruyere and asparagus. Chop the ends off the asparagus…or if you have a few extra seconds of life, just bend the stalks until they snap…they have a built in guide to eating.
Gruyere. Shred it. Or buy it shredded. Make life easier.
I despise cleaning a cheese grater.
Cheese piled onto puff pastry. Easy cheesy.
Nestle the spears into the cheese. Weird that I am jealous of an asparagus spear?
Probably. It’s cool.
Get ’em close. Oil ’em up.
To be a slender piece of asparagus snuggled into a thick warm layer of gruyere cheese.
I want to wedge myself between spear #4 and #5. I think I’d fit if I turned onto my side.
Cut along the length of the asparagus. Reminds me of breadsticks from the pizza place down the street. High brow breadsticks.
We just made breadsticks fancy.
Did I mention I am growing an herb garden from seed? EEK!
- 1 Package/Sheet of Puff Pastry, thawed but cold. (ingredient list needs to include BUTTER)
- Flour for dusting
- 1 Egg, lightly beaten
- 2 Cups Shredded Gruyere Cheese
- 1 Bunch Asparagus (about 1 lb and slender)
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper
- Preheat oven to 400F. Line 14x17 (or thereabouts) baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Snap or cut the bottom 2 inches off of the asparagus. Set aside.
- Lightly dust a clean surface with flour. Unfold puff pastry sheet onto lightly floured surface and gently roll out dough until it is just a tad smaller than your baking sheet ( about 16x10 if you are measuring). Transfer puff pastry to parchment lined baking sheet. Using a fork, poke holes into dough at about ½ inch intervals all over the crust.
- Lightly brush puff pastry with beaten egg. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Evenly spread gruyere cheese over puff pastry. Gently press asparagus spears into cheese. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Place in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes until puff pastry is puffed and golden and the asparagus spears are tender.
- Remove from oven and let sit for about 10 minutes before cutting and serving. Can be stored well wrapped in fridge for 3 to 4 days. It is good eaten warm or at room temperature.