This lovely Italian-inspired Asparagus, Prosciutto and Fontina Tart is how to turn a spring breakfast, brunch or special occasion into amazing! Make your own crust or make it easy with purchased pie crust.
Why This Recipe is a Keeper!
The first bundles of asparagus that begin showing up in grocery stores that aren’t $5 each are one of the first harbingers of spring. It’s one of my favorite vegetables and I can’t wait to make something with all that spring loveliness when it arrives.
This lovely Italian-inspired Asparagus, Prosciutto and Fontina Tart is one of my favorite asparagus recipes. It’s impressive and perfect for a spring breakfast, brunch and all the spring special occasions like Mother’s Day, bridal showers and graduations!
This elegant tart is inspired by a recipe in Super Tuscan by Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos that has become a fast favorite in my cookbook library.
Leftovers reheat beautifully and it’s freezer-friendly!
How to make Asparagus, Prosciutto and Fontina Tart:
Here’s everything you’ll need to make this tart recipe along with how to prep. See the recipe card below for the exact quantities.
- Pie Crust: Make your own crust or make it easy and buy a prepared crust. I find prepared crusts tend to shrink more than homemade so after unrolling it, you’ll want to spread it out and flatten it using a rolling pin.
- Prosciutto: Imported prosciutto from Italy can be pricey. For this recipe, use domestic which you’ll find in the deli section of most grocery stores. Diced ham may be substituted for the prosciutto.
- Fontina Cheese: Fontina is a lovely Italian cheese with a nutty flavor and buttery consistency that melts beautifully.
- Half-and-Half: May also use whole milk or heavy cream.
- Gather and prep all the ingredients.
- Blind bake the crust. Place a purchased or homemade pie crust in a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom and “dock” the crust with a fork. This allows for air circulation under the crust so it cooks more evenly.
- Place a piece of parchment paper over the crust, fill with pie weights or dried beans and bake for 18 to 20 minutes.
- When cool and before layering the ingredients, I like to place a layer of hard, dry cheese such as Parmesan over the crust before adding the fillings. This serves as somewhat of a barrier between the crust and the wet ingredients so the custard doesn’t immediately soak into the crust.
- Saute the prosciutto until the fat is rendered off. It doesn’t need to be crisp, you just want to get rid of some of the excess.
- Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
- Cook the shallots until softened then add the asparagus.
- Add 1 tablespoon water and cook until the asparagus is bright green and the water has evaporated, approximately 1 minute.
- Fill the tart pulling all the tips to the top or reserve 5 raw asparagus to place over the top.
- Combine the eggs and half and half and pour into the arranged tart.
- Bake and that’s it!
Spring deliciousness! Enjoy!
Chef Tips and Tricks:
- There’s no need to buy expensive pie weights to weigh the crust down when blind baking. Use expired rice, lentils or beans but be sure to not try to cook them afterward. Place in a separate area of your kitchen and reuse as often as you like.
- No parchment paper? No problem. You can also use nonstick aluminum foil. With aluminum foil, you can even get away with not using weights. Simply shape the aluminum foil to the tart pan then fold it carefully over the edge of the dough. Heavy duty aluminum foil works the best.
Frequently asked questions:
Absolutely! The ideal way would be to:
–Blind bake the crust, let cool, wrap and store at room temperature until ready to assemble the rest of the tart.
–Cook the prosciutto and asparagus, combine and store in the refrigerator.
–Grate the cheese, place in a baggie or other sealed container and refrigerate.
–Combine the custard and store covered in the refrigerator.
Assemble and bake.
Yes! Cut into individual pieces as desired and reheat at 350 degrees until heated through.
Absolutely! Cool thoroughly and place in a freezer bag or other freezer container and freeze until needed.
–Monterey jack makes a great substitute because it melts nicely as does Gruyere.
–Regular ham works well in place of the prosciutto.
–Not an asparagus fan? Use broccoli instead.
Buy super fresh asparagus to begin with and use it promptly. I have attempted asparagus numerous times in quiches and tarts and no matter what, they look a little shriveled when the tart is fully baked. It’s the nature of asparagus. Tarts and quiches have to bake for almost 40 minutes so the asparagus won’t look like it’s been freshly blanched in salted water.
Serve this asparagus tart with:
Be sure to try these other amazing asparagus recipes!
Get all my lovely tart and quiche recipes at: Quiche and Tart Recipes – From A Chef’s Kitchen
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Asparagus Prosciutto and Fontina Tortino
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 pie crust - for 9-inch pan
- 3 ounces prosciutto - approximately 6 slices, chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium shallot - finely chopped (approximately ½ cup)
- 8 ounces thin asparagus - tough ends trimmed, cut in half crosswise plus 5 more for garnish
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ⅓ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup (heaping) shredded Fontina cheese - approximately 4-5 ounces
- 2 large eggs - beaten
- 1 cup half-and-half - or whole milk
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom with cooking spray.
- Place the pie crust in the prepared tart pan and fold the excess down into the pan and press it into the rim of the tart pan to form a neat crust. Place on a baking sheet.
- Place a piece of parchment paper over the dough and fill with pie weights. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until the crust is baked but not browned. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool.
- Meanwhile, heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the prosciutto, reduce heat to medium and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until any fat is rendered off and the prosciutto is just lightly browned but not crisp. Transfer to a plate to cool.
- Heat olive oil in the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallot, reduce heat to medium and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until beginning to soften. Add the cut (halved) asparagus and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add 1 tablespoon water and continue cooking for 1 more minute or until the water has evaporated and asparagus is bright green. Season with a pinch of salt and black pepper. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the bottom of the baked crust.
- Combine prosciutto, asparagus and Fontina cheese (either in the skillet used to cook everything after it has cooled or in a bowl). Transfer to the prepared crust and evenly distribute everything, pressing it down into the crust so the top is level.
- Whisk together eggs and half-and-half (or milk). Season with ¼ teaspoon salt and black pepper. Pour custard mixture over asparagus mixture. Top with the 5 raw pieces of asparagus.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees. Bake another 30 to 40 minutes or until set and top is just beginning to brown.
- Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove the pan sides and cut into wedges. Serve hot, warm or room temperature.
- Monterey jack makes a great substitute because it melts nicely as does Gruyere.
- Regular ham works well in place of the prosciutto.
- Not an asparagus fan? Use broccoli instead.
These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you're using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.