The sweet red onions, cooked slowly, add an extra dimension to this asparagus pie. Making it for friends is ideal because you can prepare it before your guests arrive and put it in the oven 15 minutes before the meal. I like to serve it with a simple leafy green salad with a and olive oil vinaigrette.
- 250g shopbought shortcrust pastry
- 2 tbsp vegetable cooking oil
- 4 medium red onions, thinly sliced
- large bunch fresh asparagus (approx. 450g)
- 150g good melting cheese, such as Gruyère, taleggio, applewood smoked Cheddar or goat’s Cheddar, cubed or grated
- freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat your oven to 170°C/gas mark 3.
2. Roll out your dough to about 3 mm thick and place it in a baking tray (about 32 x 20 cm) to fit the edges. To blind bake the dough, place parchment paper on top of the rolled out dough, then place beans or rice on top to weigh it down. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove the paper and beans and bake again for about 5 minutes, until the dough is lightly browned but not fully cooked.
3. For the filling: heat the oil in a medium heavy-bottomed skillet, then gently sauté the onions over medium/low heat until soft and caramelized (about 15 minutes).
4. To prepare the asparagus, clean all the stalks under cold running water, then cut off the woody ends (you can discard them). Boil them in just enough water to cover them for 2 to 3 minutes, depending on their thickness. They should be slightly undercooked, as they will finish cooking in the oven.
5. Spread the caramelized onions evenly over the bottom of your pre-baked pastry sheet, then arrange the asparagus over the onions. Sprinkle with cheese and season with freshly ground black pepper.
6. Bake the pie for about 15 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and the cheese is bubbling and turning golden. Cut into portions and serve.