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What's Cooking? Rachel Allen's asparagus tart and a chat with Lisa Faulkner

by Sarah Alcock

Serves: 8

We love going down to the set of What's Cooking? and watching the chefs cook live in the studio – although all those amazing sights and smells are sometimes a bit too much to bear just before lunch time!
After watching the show, we caught up with presenter and Celebrity MasterChef winner Lisa Faulkner to chat about the kind of food she likes to make at home. Check out the video.

This week, celebrity cook Rachel Allen is whipping up some fantastic recipes using seasonal British ingredients on the show. On Monday, she made this incredible asparagus and spring onion tart, which is perfect for a midweek supper or served cold on a picnic with a rocket salad.


For more recipes from What's Cooking visit the Channel 4 scrapbook


  • 1 tbsp plain flour, for dusting
  • 1 x 500g shortcrust pastry block
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 x 100g bunches of spring onions, washed, trimmed and finely sliced
  • 200g asparagus spears, washed and trimmed
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 175ml double cream
  • 20g parmesan, finely grated
  • 1 x 70g bag wild rocket leaves, to serve


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6.
  2. Dust your work surface with the flour. Roll the pastry out to the thickness of a pound coin, then use it to line a 25cm tart tin.
  3. Carefully push the pastry into the edges of the tin, trim off any excess, then prick the base with a fork.
  4. Chill for 15 minutes – this helps to prevent the pastry from shrinking during cooking.
  5. Line the pastry with a piece of foil, fill with baking beans and bake for 20 minutes.
  6. Remove the foil and baking beans and cook for a further 5-10 minutes until the pastry is golden. Transfer the tin to a wire rack to cool.
  7. Meanwhile, make the tart filling. Heat the oil in a small pan over a low heat. Add the spring onions and cook until soft.
  8. Meanwhile, add the asparagus spears to a pan of boiling water with a pinch of salt.
  9. Cover, bring back to the boil, then remove the lid and cook, uncovered, for 3-4 minutes. Drain, then slice the asparagus into 3cm lengths, on an angle.
  10. Whisk the eggs in a bowl, add the cream and the cooked spring onion, then season with salt and pepper.
  11. Pour the mixture into the cooled pastry case, scatter over the asparagus and sprinkle the parmesan over the top.
  12. Bake the tart for 20-25 minutes, or until it’s just set in the middle (see our top tip)
  13. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 5-10 minutes.
  14. Remove the tart from the tin, cut it into wedges and serve with the rocket leaves.


The tart is cooked when it wobbles slightly in the centre when shaken lightly.

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