Make Chef Gail Simmons Spring Asparagus Tart And Blueberry Lemonade Bars

Make these delicious recipes at home!
Posted on Jun 2, 2021 | 11:00am
Gail Simmons of Top Chef and the upcoming Top Chef: Amateurs joined the show for The Talk’s "Reset for Success" and showed the hosts how to make her Spring Asparagus Tart and Blueberry Lemonade Bars.

Follow the recipes below to make these for yourself!

Spring Asparagus Tart (Serves 6)

1 large garlic clove, peeled
Kosher salt
8 ounces (1 cup) whole milk ricotta cheese
2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, plus more for garnish
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
Freshly ground black pepper
All-purpose flour, for dusting the work surface
1sheet puff pastry, thawed if frozen (about 25 minutes on the kitchen counter)
8ounces thin asparagus, tough ends trimmed
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Thinly slice the garlic, then mound 1/2 teaspoon salt on top. Using both the blade and flat side of a chef’s knife, chop and scrape the mixture into a paste. In a small bowl, combine the garlic paste, ricotta, 1 ounces of Parmesan cheese, thyme, lemon zest, and a pinch of pepper. Set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, gently unfold and roll out the puff pastry sheet into a 10-by-16-inch rectangle. Transfer to the baking sheet and prick all over with a fork, leaving a 1/2-inch border on all sides. Bake until light golden brown, about 12 minutes. Let cool slightly on the baking sheet.

Spread the cheese mixture evenly over the puff pastry, leaving a 1-inch border on all sides. Toss the asparagus with the olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Arrange the asparagus vertically on the tart and bake until the edges are puffy and golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle with chives and remaining Parmesan. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Blueberry Lemonade Bars (Serves 2 dozen bars)
Excerpted from Bringing It Home: Favorite Recipes from a Life of Adventurous Eating by Gail Simmons. Copyright.


1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into cubes, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Lemon Curd
5 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
1 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 6 small lemons)
3 cups blueberries, stemmed, rinsed, and patted dry
Confectioners’ sugar for serving

Heat the oven to 350F. Line a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking dish with parchment paper, leaving an overhang.

For the crust: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the soft butter and granulated sugar on high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture. Increase the speed to high and beat until the dough holds together, about 1 minute more.

Turn out the dough into the prepared pan and press it into an even layer using your fingertips. Bake until the edges are just beginning to brown, 18 to 22 minutes.

For the curd: Meanwhile, in a clean large bowl, whisk together the eggs and granulated sugar, then whisk in the flour followed by the lemon zest and juice. Allow the mixture to stand until foam appears on top, 2 to 3 minutes, then skim off and discard the foam.

Remove the pan from the oven. Pour the lemon curd evenly over the hot crust, then sprinkle the blueberries evenly over the top. Return the pan to the oven and continue baking until the filling is just set in the center (still a touch jiggly), 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack, then refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes or up to 1 day. Cut into 24 bars and dust with confectioners’ sugar.

The bars keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to 3 months. I recommend freezing before cutting if you are making ahead, but you can also freeze bars individually. Wrap them with parchment paper and then in heavy-duty foil to avoid freezer burn. Let thaw at room temperature, then dust with confectioners’ sugar just before serving.