Are you looking for a special way to enjoy fresh asparagus? Our team here at Plume Ridge Bottle Shop has a delicious pairing for you to try with family and friends.
Asparagus has an unique flavor profile that can be described as bright and clean with earthy undertones. Asparagus can be served on its own or prepared as a simple dish. When cooked with others foods, they have the ability to absorb the flavors such as lemon zest, garlic, and vinegar. These flavors make the asparagus brighter and enhance their natural nuances. Part of what makes asparagus difficult to pair is because of their earthy, vegetal and green notes and how they absorb the flavors they are around. With that being said, you can pair asparagus with wines that either match the earthy, minerally, or tartness notes that are in your dish. A few examples of wines that pair nicely would be a Gruner Veltliner, Sauvignon Blanc, and our team favorite pairing, Riesling.
With this Asparagus Cheese Tart, we at Plume Ridge Bottle Shop thought it would be a perfect pairing with the Gunderloch Jean Baptiste Kabinett Riesling from Rheinhessen. This is a long-established estate that was founded in 1890 by the banker Carl Gunderloch. He was the first President and founding member of the Rheinhessen VDP (Verband Deutscher Prädikatsweingüter). This is the German National Association that is committed to producing top quality wines. It is an invitation only organization that has a long-term outstanding quality and a commitment to excellence. The organization has 197 of Germany’s finest wineries under one banner, which offers a guarantee on quality and yield.
Hasselbach family is currently in charge of this property. 85% of their vines are planted with Reisling. The Hasselbach family has been practicing organic farming for over 5 years now and certified vegan since the 2017 vintage. The estate owns a few Grand Cru vineyards situated on red slate and clay soil. These soils impart a very nice crisp acidity in the wine. This wine we are recommending to pair with the Asparagus Cheese Tart is grown on the terraces just beneath the family’s Grand Cru vineyards.
We recommend the Gunderloch Jean Baptiste Kabinett Riesling because it is a food-friendly and aromatic wine. This wine is produced in a dry style with flavors of passionfruit, peach, and ripe lemon followed by intense minerality with a super long finish. This Asparagus Cheese Tart would be the perfect pairing to stimulate those taste buds. When you bake the tart it allows the asparagus to become tender and to embrace the flavors they are around. The mixed cheeses, pinch of nutmeg, and the sprinkle of lemon zest will create a perfect harmony!
1 pound asparagus, trimmed
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (about 1/2 pound), thawed
All-purpose flour, for dusting
1 cup grated fontina cheese (about 3 ounces)
1 cup grated comte or gruyere cheese (about 3 ounces)
1 tablespoon minced shallot
2 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons whole milk
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- Fill a large bowl with ice water. Bring about 1 inch of water to a boil in a large skillet. Add the asparagus; cook until bright green and crisp-tender, 2 to 5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the asparagus. Drain and transfer to the ice water to stop the cooking; drain and pat dry. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Roll out the puff pastry into a 10-by-16-inch rectangle on a floured surface. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and prick all over with a fork. Bake until light golden brown, about 12 minutes. Let cool slightly on the baking sheet.
- Meanwhile, mix the fontina, comte, shallot, egg yolks, milk, nutmeg and a pinch each of salt and pepper in a bowl until combined. Spread the cheese mixture evenly over the puff pastry, leaving a 1-inch border on all sides. Toss the asparagus with the olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Arrange the asparagus on the tart and bake until the cheese mixture is slightly puffy, 15 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle with the lemon zest. Serve warm or at room temperature.