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Asparagus & lemon tart

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This asparagus & lemon tart pairs in season spring asparagus with lemon, held within a crunchy rustic spiced rye crust. The rye crust is spiced with aniseed, fennel, caraway and paprika. This delicious asparagus is from our local farmers market and was the very first of the season. Rye flour is easy to digest and has a lovely nutty flavour that works so well with anise.

The contrasting green and yellow colours of asparagus and lemon are just as beautiful as asparagus and lemon flavours when paired together. I love the imperfectly-perfect curved shapes and different sizes of the asparagus – they were so interesting to take photographs of because of the lines and shapes they made – seemingly embracing the lemons.

Asparagus & lemon tarts make a lovely healthy light lunch, or dinner with salad. We recently had this asparagus & lemon tart as part of a picnic lunch along with pear pickles, cheeses, seasonal baby vegetables and roasted beetroot dip and eggplant dip.

The tart is delicious straight from the oven or cold the next day so it’s perfect for picnics or get togethers where you would like to prepare a dish the day before.


Asparagus & lemon tart

Print Recipe
Serves: 6 Cooking Time: 1 hour (20 minutes preparation, 40 minutes baking)


  • Spiced rye crust: 6 tablespoons organic butter
  • 1 ¼ cups rye flour
  • ½ cup chopped almonds
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon aniseed
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Pinch of salt and black pepper to taste
  • Asparagus & lemon filling: 2 bunches asparagus
  • Zest of 1 lemon (reserve the lemon to serve)
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Custard: 3 real free range organic eggs
  • 1 cup yoghurt
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese grated (optional)
  • Paprika to dust the top



Preheat oven to 175 C


Grease a round tart pan


Spiced rye crust: Combine flour, nuts, spices and butter to form breadcrumb like consistency


Add water


Mix to form a dough


Roll out with a rolling pin


Gently lift the pastry into the pie dish by lifting an edge of the pastry up and sliding the pie pan underneath. Do not worry if the pastry fragments a little – simply press it like a cookie crust back into the pie pan.


Asparagus & lemon filling: Remove woody ends of asparagus and wash well


Cut into 3cm lengths


Blanch for 30 seconds in boiling hot water then refresh with cold water


Toss with lemon zest, tarragon, salt and pepper


Add the cheese to the pie base if using


Add the filling to the pie base on top of the cheese if using this – I made a pattern with the spears from the centre outwards and then the smaller shoots on top


Custard: Beat together eggs and yoghurt to make the custard


Pour the custard over the filling and sprinkle the top of the tart with paprika


Bake for 35-40 minutes until set and golden


Serve with lemon wedges and for a more substantial meal add a salad


Inspired by Quiches and vegetable pies Enchanted broccoli forest (Katzen 1995: 124-134).

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