Links: Asparagus Tarts, Potluck Nation, and Winners

March 20, 2017(updated on August 30, 2021)

Spring tiptoed in this morning at 6:28 am. While I know intellectually that it’s a mostly arbitrary dividing line, I can’t help but imagine that the air smells sweeter and that the quality of the light is warmer and more substantial. While I dream about local strawberries and asparagus (still weeks away), some links.

My friend Kristin has launched a lovely movement called Potluck Nation. She’s the author of the book Modern Potluck and is hoping to use the power of the potluck to bring people together heal some of what’s been fractured in this country over the recent months and years. As an avowed lover of potlucks myself, I am fully on board and hope to host a few potlucks of my own (I plan on making the asparagus tart pictured above. It’s one I developed for a column I wrote many moons ago. I’ve reprinted the recipe below). Perhaps some of you will be inspired to do the same!

Here’s the winner of the Ball Canning giveaway I hosted last week!

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Asparagus and Gruyere Tart


  • 1 package puff pastry defrosted
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup minced shallots
  • 4 ounces Gruyere cheese shredded
  • 1 pound asparagus cleaned and chopped into 1 1/2 inch lengths
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • salt
  • pepper


  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Place puff pastry on a flour-dusted countertop or large cutting board. Using a rolling pin, roll the pastry into a rectangle approximately 10 by 16 inches (some packages will already be a rectangle, others you’ll need to pinch together).
  • Transfer pastry to a baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Spread the minced shallots over the pastry in a thin, evenly distributed layer.
  • Season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper (the salt helps draw out the moisture in the shallots, so that they soften instead of browning). Bake for 6-8 minutes, until the pastry just begins to brown and puff.
  • Once the pastry has baked for 6-8 minutes, remove it from the oven.
  • Sprinkle the cheese and thyme over the shallots and spread the asparagus out over the tart base, making sure to leave a rim of uncovered crust all the way around.
  • Return to the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, until the edges of the pastry have browned and puffed up, and the asparagus is tender.
  • Let cool for 10-15 minutes prior to cutting. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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