14 May 2013

Tarte d'asperges au jambon

Walt made one of his famous ham and asparagus tarts over the weekend. As usual, it was fantastic. We got asparagus from our usual source — a vendor at the Saturday market in Saint-Aignan who sells only locally grown asparagus and strawberries. Our region, La Sologne, is famous for both, and springtime is the season.

The local style of growing aspragus is to "blanch" it by covering the spears with sand as they grow. That way, sunlight (not that we've had an awful lot of that this spring) doesn't turn them green. It's the same asparagus as green spears, but the growing method gives the two different styles a different look and taste. White asparagus has to be peeled before it's cooked.

The custard under the ham and asparagus rolls is egg, cream, and grated cheese.

The ham came from our drive-up butcher truck, and it was especially good too. When Walt bought it from the butcher, he asked for jambon de Paris, which is what sandwich-style boiled ham is called in France — saying it's from Paris is a way of saying it's not country ham, which is dry-cured but not cooked. Anyway, the butcher laughed and said his ham is not "Paris" ham because he makes it himself over in the village of Thésée, just across the river. It's jambon de Thésée. Ha ha ha.


  1. I made this (recipe) last summer-- wow, was it good! And that was without Loire Valley asperges and jambon de Thésée!

  2. Thanks for explaining about white asparagus because I had no idea.


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