Easy Asparagus And Gruyere Tart

Make this cheesy, buttery, perfectly savory tart ASAP. That's the soundest bit of culinary advice I can offer. As an appetizer, it's divine eaten al fresco. As a main course, you're sure to wow even the snobbiest dinner guest, and it's totally easy to prepare. 

If you're anything like little old me, you can appreciate super simple dishes that look stunning, making you look like a better cook than you are. With its crisp, flaky crust, kicky smear of coarse Dijon mustard, unabashedly excessive amount of Gruyere cheese, in-season asparagus stalks, and drizzle of sweet-tart balsamic glaze, this tart is winning on all counts. While asparagus is available year-round, springtime—from late February through June—is when these beautiful green stalks are fresh, vibrantly green, and spectacular. Make good use of your asparagus haul when you casually whip up this pretty thang.

Gather the ingredients

Frozen puff pastry is a useful and delicious ingredient to have on hand. Here, it makes for a delectable buttery base to this springtime tart. The rest of what you need is straightforward and delightfully seasonal: whole-grain Dijon mustard, Gruyere cheese, and fresh asparagus. For the glaze, you need only balsamic vinegar and dark brown sugar. The store list is short yet the payoff off is grand.

Find a detailed ingredient list and step-by-step instructions at the end of this article. 

Score the puff pastry

Scoring the pastry is a small but important step. By scoring the border, you ensure that the pastry bakes up higher on the edges to create walls for all your yummy toppings. Piercing the pastry with a fork lets the steam escape during baking.

Bake the puff pastry

Bake the puff pastry in the oven for about 15 minutes until it's golden and puffy. This magical ingredient only needs that much time to transform from flat raw dough to gorgeous flaky pastry.

Make the balsamic glaze

While the puff pastry bakes, you can use the time to start the balsamic glaze. By simmering the balsamic vinegar and the dark brown sugar together, you eventually get a lush glaze that coats the back of a spoon—perfect for all your drizzling needs. Keep in mind that the glaze may reduce by half and still appear watery. Don't worry! Let it rest while the tart finishes baking. The glaze gradually thickens as it cools.


Spread the mustard

Smear the whole-grain mustard all over the surface of the baked puff pastry. While I tend to use about a tablespoon here, feel free to use more if you really love mustard.

Add the cheese

Scatter the Gruyere cheese on top of the mustard layer. While it seems like a lot of cheese, trust me. It's the perfect decadent amount.

Arrange the asparagus

You can arrange the asparagus stalks however you like, but I like to alternate the tips and the ends for a pretty presentation. Be sure to use only as many stalks as a single layer allows for. Otherwise, they won't cook evenly.


Brush on olive oil

Use a pastry brush to brush on olive oil to give the asparagus a pretty sheen and help the stalks cook to tenderness.

Bake the tart

Pop the assembled tart into the oven and wait as patiently as your personality allows. This might get difficult as the smell emanates from the oven and you start to salivate.

Drizzle on the balsamic glaze

By now, the balsamic glaze will have cooled and thickened a bit. Drizzle as much as you like over the top of the finished tart. Cut up the tart however you desire and enjoy while it's still warm.


Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 35 minutes

Servings: 6


  • 1 14-ounce sheet puff pastry, defrosted
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain Dijon mustard
  • 2 ½ cups Gruyere cheese, grated
  • 10 spears asparagus, woody ends removed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Place the puff pastry on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Using a sharp knife, score the pastry about 1 inch from the edges. Using a fork, pierce the pastry dough all over the surface within the scored lines to allow steam to escape. Transfer the pastry to the middle rack of the oven and bake until golden, about 15 minutes.
  3. While the puff pastry bakes, combine the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar in a small pot over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the glaze is reduced by half, 20-25 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and set aside until ready to use.
  4. Spread the Dijon mustard over the baked pastry shell, keeping within the scored border. Top with the Gruyere cheese, scattering evenly. 
  5. Arrange the asparagus in a single layer over the cheese, alternating the ends and the tips. Brush the asparagus with the olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper as desired.
  6. Transfer the assembled tart to to the middle rack of the oven and bake until the asparagus is tender, 18-22 minutes. 
  7. Remove the tart from the oven and set aside to cool for about 5 minutes, then slice and drizzle with the balsamic glaze as desired. Enjoy!