For the first time in a very long time, le fiancé and I had the day off together. Since I had been waking up “early” for work the past week (8am), I couldn’t sleep in on our Saturday off together…I woke up at 7am!
Rob was not very happy about the early wake up call, but we got our tails in gear and got ready in record time. Our first stop on our long list of activities: the OSU-OKC farmer’s market.
The Oklahoma City metropolitan area offers a fantastic selection of farmer’s markets: Edmond, Norman, downtown, Urban Agrarian, and much more. However, my all-time favorite is the OSU-OKC one. I fell in love with this market a few years ago and can’t seem to stay away.
It’s indoors, it’s year round, and it has a vast selection of vendors. You can find breads, jerky, peanuts, milk, raw milk, eggs, meats, cheeses, plants, flowers, baked goods, soaps, clothing, baskets…the list goes on and on. I know most of the vendors by heart:
- Lovera’s Market in Krebs, Oklahoma is always there with a booth full of homemade cheeses and jarred pasta sauces.
- Farrell Family Bread has a long table with stacks upon stacks of sourdough breads, rolls and buns.
- Christian Farms sells wonderful blocks of cheese with an array of different flavors like dill, habanero, and Colby.
In the middle of the market lives an old Asian woman and her husband selling magnificently green bok choy, garlicky-smelling spring onions, and the brightest pink radishes you’ll ever see. There’s also the Orchid Man, whose beautiful flowers you can spot fr0m a mile away. It’s getting more and more difficult not to walk out with one of these plants.
I was on a mission to buy some fresh asparagus, so I tried to not get distracted by the sinfully sweet-smelling honey jars and frozen cubes of bison meat. I found two gorgeous bunches of asparagus, wrapped in twine, for $3.50 and bought those. Of course, that’s not all I got…I also bought a block of blackberry wine cheese (Christian Farms), a package of 4 hamburger buns (Farrell Family Bread), and my beloved macarons from Belle Kitchen. Poor Rob didn’t make it out unscathed, either; he picked up a bag of homemade beef jerky and a pound of salt-roasted peanuts.
After our market experience, we ate breakfast with some friends we ran into at Old School Bagel Café. I used to grab bagels from this shop all the time when I lived in The Village, but haven’t frequented the place in over a year. They were all out of Everything bagels, so I got the lox on an onion bagel. Boy, was it good! It was pretty humid that morning, but we ate outside on the patio anyway.
On Friday, I had had a fit of rage about my insanely long hair. In my desperation, I called the salon to get squeezed in for a haircut on Saturday. So after breakfast, we went to the salon. It was the first time in nearly two years since I had cut my hair! It was getting way too unmanageable—I mainly wore it in a messy bun or in a tangled ponytail. I am so glad I got my hair cut! I feel like a new woman.
We ate, we gamed, and we won bouncy balls. Well, I won bouncy balls. Rob won a big time stuffed animal.
I won a bouncy ball.
That’s one step above a Chinese finger trap.
Fast forward to today: After cleaning and trimming my new prized asparagus, I made these little tartlets with some puff pastry I had lounging in my freezer. I’m going to have to remember this recipe for my next dinner party; it’s an easy and effortless appetizer that looks super fancy. You can’t beat that description.
The asparagus cooks perfectly with the pastry and the nutty gruyere cheese gives it that extra layer of sophistication without any added effort. If you’ve got a bunch of asparagus and don’t know what to do with it, this is the recipe for you! You can easily try it with different cheeses (I almost grabbed gorgonzola instead of gruyere) but just remember to keep it simple. That’s what makes this dish what it is: simplicity.
Asparagus & Gruyere Tartlets
- 1 bunch asparagus, cleaned and trimmed
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 2 cups shredded Gruyere
- Shredded parmesan, for topping
- salt and pepper, for taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With rolling pin, roll out thawed puffy pastry on a floured surface until it is thin. Cut 6-9 rectangles from the pastry (I got 9 out of mine). Lay rectangles on a lightly greased baking sheet…this way it makes for an easier cleanup. You can just build your tartlets right on the sheet that they will be baked on!
- Using a fork, prick all around the edges, making a border on the pastry sheets. With a pastry brush, brush egg all over the puff pastry. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Sprinkle gruyere cheese in the middle of each pastry. Cut each spear of asparagus into about 3 sections (the tartlets are too small for a whole spear!) and lay three to four pieces onto each tartlet on top of the cheese. You may end up with some sticks of asparagus left, but that’s ok! You can use them for pasta or roast them for a quick side dish.
- Sprinkle asparagus topped tartlets with more gruyere and parmesan. Bake for 20 minutes until edges are golden brown. Serve immediately!
These little tartlets will fly off the platter. The melty cheese pairs well with the stalky asparagus and crusty pastry. Enjoy!