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Baseball, history and a tart

May 24, 2011

Mike and I were lucky enough to spend this last weekend in Boston where we went to see the Cubs play the Red Sox at Fenway Park.  The two teams haven’t faced each other in Boston since the 1918 World Series which made this match-up a historic one.  As we walked around Boston throughout the weekend it seemed like Cubs fans had taken over the city.  Everywhere we turned there were people proudly sporting their Cubs gear, and I have to say that we couldn’t have felt more welcome. 

We took a tour of Fenway Park and really learned a lot of the history of the park, like why there’s one seat in the bleachers that’s red while the others are all green and why the infamous Green Monster wall was built.  Did you know that the Monster contains morse code from top to bottom in the white lines of the American League scoreboard that represents the initials of former owners Thomas A. Yawkey and Jean R. Yawkey?  It’s true – check it out. 

This was our first opportunity to tour the city, and what a great city it is.  Our hotel was one block from Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market and a quick 15 minute walk to the Old State House and the North End where there are over 90 Italian restaurants. 

We made a visit to Mike’s Pastry where the lines were out the door for cannoli that are literally as big as your hand and we watched as fresh pasta was made in shop windows.  We shared fried calamari with batter that was impossibly light and I ate linguine with clams that were so fresh it seemed you could taste the salt water. 

The pièce de résistance though wasn’t in the North End it was at Quincy Market, in a restaurant called Anthem where I had lobster cobb salad. Wow, wow, wow. It was a beautifully deconstructed salad with a huge scoop of fresh lobster on greens, surrounded by grilled corn, avocado, tomatoes, hard-boiled egg and blue cheese. It really was a salad to remember.

While we were walked on Saturday we stumbled upon the Haymarket Square produce market. Like everything else in Boston, this market has been around for a long time, since 1820 as a matter of fact.  It isn’t your typical farmers market, in fact it isn’t a farmers market at all.  The vendors buy their goods from the wholesale markets on Thursday and Friday nights, paying very low prices so the wholesalers can clear the way for their new produce shipments to arrive on the weekend.  Those low prices are passed along – romaine for .75 a head, lemons .25 each, blackberries for .75 a box and golden pineapple for $1.50.

After seeing all that fresh produce I knew I had to make something with fresh vegetables when we arrived back in Chicago.  The recipe for this asparagus tart is simple to put together and the flavors are really good. It made a nice light dinner for us but would be equally as good as an appetizer.  Enjoy!

Asparagus and Goat Cheese Tart
Serves 4 – 6

5 oz goat cheese
1 egg
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
12 – 14 asparagus spears
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, defrosted

Preheat oven to 400F.

Combine goat cheese, egg, heavy cream, pepper and salt in a small bowl. 

Unwrap the puff pastry and roll lightly to smooth any creases.  With a sharp knife make a cut about 1/2 in from the edge of the pastry all the way around.  Fold the cut edge over onto the pastry sheet to form a double high border.  Lay one asparagus spear crossways on the puff pastry and trim to fit within the border.  Using that spear as a guide, trim the remaining asparagus spears to the same length. 

Spread the goat cheese mixture onto the puff pastry, keeping it within the border.  Lay the asparagus spears across the filling, alternating tips and ends. 

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.  Allow to cool for about 10 minutes, cut and serve.

Nutrition Information:

Weight Watchers PointsPlus – 5

Calories – 170
Total Fat – 13 g
  Saturated Fat – 7 g
Cholesterol – 61 mg
Sodium – 447 mg
Total Carbohydrates – 7 g
  Dietary Fiber – 1 g
  Sugars – 2 g
Protein – 8 g

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One Comment leave one →
  1. February 4, 2012 12:16 am

    Love this in B&W! The fuffly clouds are outstanding too and a nice contrast to the sharp buildings. I can’t wait to get out there in October!

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