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Asparagus, Goat Cheese and Tarragon Tart

HG Cooks

Asparagus, Goat Cheese and Tarragon Tart

Recipe by Melissa Clark

New York Times star food writer Melissa Clark breaks down new French classics with recipes that reflect a modern yet distinctly French sensibility. Clark fell in love with French food and culture as a child, spending August vacations there with her family in search of the best meals.  In her book, she updates classic French techniques and dishes to reflect how we cook, shop and eat today. If you enjoy French food, this may soon become an indispensable classic.

Photo by New York Times Cooking


  • 4 oz (1 cup) fresh goat cheese, room temperature

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten, room temperature

  • 1 large garlic clove, finely grated or minced

  • 1½ tbsp chopped fresh tarragon leaves, plus more for serving

  • ½ tbsp finely grated lemon zest

  • ½ tsp fine sea salt, plus more for sprinkling

  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

  • 1 cup (8 oz) crème fraîche, room temperature

  • All-purpose flour, for dusting the work surface

  • 1 sheet or square all-butter puff pastry, thawed if frozen (about 9 to 14 oz; brands vary)

  • 8 oz thin asparagus, woody ends trimmed

  • Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed

  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)

  • 1½ oz parmesan cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler (about ½ cup)


  • Heat the oven to 425°F.

  • In a medium bowl, use a wooden spoon or a fork to mash together the goat cheese, egg, garlic, tarragon, lemon zest, salt, and nutmeg until smooth. Switch to a whisk and beat in the crème fraîche until smooth.

  • On a lightly floured surface, roll the puff pastry out to form a 13 × 11-inch rectangle about ⅛ inch thick. Transfer the dough to a parchment-lined cookie sheet. With a sharp knife, lightly score a ½-inch border around the edges of the puff pastry.

  • Spread the crème fraîche mixture evenly inside the scored border. Line up the asparagus spears on top, and brush them with olive oil. Sprinkle some salt and the grated parmesan over the asparagus.

  • Bake until the pastry is puffed and golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Let it cool on the cookie sheet for at least 15 minutes before serving (or for up to 4 hours). Then sprinkle black pepper, red pepper flakes (if using), the shaved parmesan, tarragon leaves, and a drizzle of oil on top.

  • Thinking Ahead Tart: You can assemble the tart 1 day in advance; but reserve the sprinkling of salt and grated parmesan until right before baking. Loosely cover the tart and store it in the refrigerator.

HG Cooking Essentials