Wild Asparagus and Watercress Tart with Pomegranate Molasses Dressing

Silvena Rowe's mouthwatering polenta pastry tart has a creamy vegetable filling and piquant dressing and is perfect for summer entertaining
By Silvena Rowe
Wild Asparagus and Watercress Tart with Pomegranate Molasses Dressing
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes plus 3 hrs chilling
  • Effort: medium


For the pastry

  • 185 g plain flour
  • 40 g polenta
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 100 g butter, chopped
  • 1 egg

For the filling

  • 200 g watercress, trimmed
  • 2 eggs
  • 110 ml double cream
  • 300 g wild asparagus
  • 30 g parmigiano reggiano, freshly grated

For the dressing

  • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil


1. To make the pastry; process the flour, polenta and salt in a food processor until well combined.

2. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

3. Add the egg and process until the mixture comes together. You can finish off the process by using your hands and knead the dough yourself.

4. Wrap in cling film and put in the fridge for 2 hours.

5. Roll out the pastry 3mm thick and line a 10 x 34 cm x 2.5 cm deep loose-bottomed flan tin. Trim the pastry if it extends over the edges.

6. Cover and put in the fridge for 1 hour.

7. Preheat the oven to 190C/gas 5.

8. Line the tart with baking paper and fill with baking weights or dry beans and bake blind for 10 minutes. Remove the paper and weights and bake for a further 10 minutes.

9. Reduce the oven temperature to 180C/gas 4.

10. Place the watercress in a bowl of boiling water and almost immediately drain, then plunge in cold water. Drain again and chop finely. Squeeze out any remaining moisture.

11. Combine the egg, cream and chopped watercress and season to taste with salt and pepper and mix well.

12. Pour the filling into the tart shell and stand the asparagus tips on top, lengthways, next to each other. Sprinkle with the cheese.

13. Bake for 30 minutes.

14. To make the dressing; combine all the ingredients and whisk well.

15. Serve the tart hot or cold with a drizzle of the pomegranate molasses dressing.

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