Everything is coming up spring in New England (and it is about time)! Gloriously colored, long and thin rainbow carrots, skinny spears of intoxicatingly green asparagus, and baby lambs dot farm landscapes. On occasionally almost summer like weather days, it is time to move the eating outdoors. Easter is just around the corner and late this year, so opting outside may be a real possibility. The combination of a lemony, almost grassy aged goat cheese such as bucheron, slightly bitter fresh spring rainbow carrots (tops on), and crunchy peak season pencil asparagus are deliciously compatible tart ingredients. A buttery, yet sturdy, savory pastry bottom creates the perfect backdrop for enjoying a veg forward tart with a bit of something for each of the senses: this tart is definitely ate with eyes before it has even been served.
cuisine American
difficulty Moderate
season Spring
serves 6

Ingredients for the Crust

3 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/4" dice

Ingredients for the Filling

12 ounces goat cheese 1/2 cup whole-milk ricotta 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature 3 large egg yolks 1/3 cup all-purpose flour 8 long and slender spring carrots, green tops cut to 2 12 pencil asparagus, woody ends cut off Extra virgin olive oil Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 4 sprigs fresh thyme 1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar Sea salt flakes, for finishing

Directions

  1. Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and pulse to combine.
  2. Sprinkle the cold butter over the flour mixture and pulse until the flour and butter resemble course meal.
  3. With the machine running, pour the ice water in a steady thin stream through the tube and process just until the dough gathers into a ball. Wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Cut the dough in half. Roll out the other half of the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4" thick 15" by 5" rectangle. Pick up the dough and place it in a 14.75" L x 4.5" W tart pan. Press the edges down to fit evenly in the crimps and remove any excess dough.
  5. Freeze the dough in the pan for 15 minutes (this prevents shrinking while baking).
  6. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. and turn on the convection fan if available.
  7. Line the pastry with aluminum foil and fill with pie weights. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove the pastry from the oven, discard the pie weights and foil, and let the tart shell cool to room temperature.
  8. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  9. Place the carrots and the asparagus on a half sheet baking tray. Toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper.
  10. Place the vegetables in the oven and roast for 10 minutes. As soon as the asparagus begins to caramelize, remove the spears from the baking sheet to a platter in a single layer. Set aside. Continue roasting the carrots for 4 to 6 minutes longer, or until they are caramelized too. Remove and place in a single layer to cool. Set aside.
  11. Lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees F.
  12. Place the goat cheese, ricotta, and butter in the food processor and process until smooth. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, processing to combine after each addition. Add the flour and salt and pepper to taste; process just until blended.
  13. Pour the filling into the tart shell and bake until puffed and golden, about 25 to 30 minutes.
  14. Remove the tart to a wire cooling rack. Place the carrots and then asparagus next to it in a single layer on one end and then repeat on the other end.
  15. Place the sprigs of fresh thyme strategically along the length of the tart. Finish the tart with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and a sprinkle of sea salt flakes.