This recipe is adapted from “Everyday Food” (March/April 2003).  I’ve made this many times for catered events, family parties etc so it is a nice go-to recipe and can be either an hors d’oeuvre or an appetizer or light lunch if served with a simple salad. Serves 4

•  1 package frozen puff pastry, thawed – I use the frozen pre-rolled puff pastry sheets, but if not available to you, use the slab and roll it out on a floured surface
•  2 cups (about 6 ounces) gruyere cheese, shredded (substitutes: swiss, mozzarella, fontina, emmentaler)
•  1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed – before you trim the asparagus lay a couple of pieces on the pastry sheet to see where they need to be trimmed – just makes for a better presentation of the dish 
•  1 tablespoon olive oil
•  Salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Unroll the puff pastry sheet or sprinkle your counter with flour, and place the puff pastry on top. and roll into a 16-by-10-inch rectangle. You may need to trim the edges to ensure a straight border – use a pastry brush to brush off the extra flour.
3. Carefully place pastry on a parchment lined baking sheet.
4. With a sharp knife, lightly score pastry dough 1 inch in from the edges to mark a rectangle.
5. Using a fork, pierce dough inside the markings at 1/2-inch intervals –  at this stage I usually paint mine with Dijon Mustard or some other flavorful ingredient (it’s all about taste) – and place in the oven
6. Bake until lightly golden, about 8 – 10 minutes (remember it is going to go back into the oven and bake further once the asparagus and cheese are spread on the top, so it will bake longer)
7. Remove pastry shell from oven, and sprinkle with Gruyere or whatever cheese you are using,
8. Trim the bottoms of the asparagus spears to fit crosswise inside the tart shell. Arrange them in a single layer over Gruyere – you can either alternate tip to end or all tips facing up across the top row and facing down on the bottom row
9. Brush with oil, and season with salt and pepper.
10. Bake until spears are tender, about 20 minutes.