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If you’re staying home for Easter, consider whipping up this aparagus, ricotta and chive tart for you and yours. (Photo credit: Doug Young)

Spring dining calls for recipes that are versatile as well as visually stunning. Ideally, what was delicious for brunch right out of the oven could be perfect for dinner reheated or served cold for breakfast the following day.

That is when a good tart or quiche recipe comes in handy.

You can’t go wrong with golden custardy eggs, vibrant asparagus and dainty, delicate chives. While the creamy, savory filling and whimsically decorated top are what we first notice when offered a slice of this particular tart, it’s what’s beneath where the star of this culinary show truly lies.

“I love a beautiful, buttery crust,” notes Springs resident, private chef and baker Arden Chapin, of Hamptons Home Cooking, of her seasonal tart recipe. Chapin also encourages the home cook not to be compelled to make this dish the same day. “The nice thing about the pastry crust is it freezes beautifully,” she reiterates, “and it keeps for a long time, allowing you to roll out and throw together when inclined.”

Chapin is well known for her artisanal bread business, which took off during the pandemic’s sourdough renaissance. “I think the beauty of my bread is that it is made in small batches and is hand mixed,” explains the seasoned baker, whose regular clients include Marilee’s Farm Stand in Sagaponack. Growing up in Colorado within a “food-forward family,” Chapin’s inherent sense of home cooking was a part of daily life. “My dad was very into fermentation, making sauerkraut and pickles, and we would cook labor-intensive German meals as a family,” she recounts.

After graduating college, Chapin spent time in Rome, Italy, working for a family while being exposed to international cooking and dining out, which may explain her food philosophy of making meals from scratch.

“When I’m working for a client, I want to make everything homemade with beautiful, fresh ingredients,” explains the chef, “the trick is not to overdo it.”

“A delicious, flaky tart with a salad can be breakfast, lunch, or dinner,” says Chapin, “perfect for a weekend brunch or weeknight meal.” (Photo credit: Doug Young)

We couldn’t agree more. But let’s not let the presentation slide. Chapin’s charming food-styling technique of arranging the asparagus and ricotta to resemble plants growing is a must-try. And while we wait for Marilee’s Farm Stand to open with their iconic spring asparagus, local markets will do. Chapin also says you could easily swap broccoli and cheddar for the asparagus and ricotta, if that’s more your jam. Keep the eggs local to guarantee the bright yellow yolk (Iacono Farm is always a good choice).

Chapin’s full-proof pie crust recipe can be made up to five days in advance and freezes beautifully. She recommends “docking” the dough (pricking the rolled out crust with a fork) and “blind” baking (pre-cooking the crust for a short period before baking the entire tart), so the steam can escape, preventing air bubbles and ensuring the crust bakes properly. If baking your own pie crust is intimidating to you, don’t panic. Just take your time, follow this thoughtful recipe and you’ll be ready to impress your guests at your next spring gathering.

Don’t forget the bubbles! Wölffer’s 2019 Noblesse Oblige Rosé Sparkling Wine will pair nicely.

Arden Chapin’s asparagus, ricotta and chive tart

Prep Time 2 hours 35 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Serves 6 people


For the crust (Note: this recipe makes two crusts, so be sure to freeze one for another time!)

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 sticks cold, unsalted butter
  • 1 cup water with ice cubes

For the filling

  • 6-8 asparagus stalks
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 shallots, minced
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 10-12 small, thin chives


For the crust

  • Grate your cold butter using a box grater onto a plate or parchment paper and freeze the shavings for 30 minutes.
  • Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix ice and water in a small bowl.
  • Add grated frozen butter to flour mixture. Toss and smear butter between fingers until the mixture looks like pebbles. Drizzle 1/2 a cup of ice water into the mixture first, then add by the tablespoon until the dough is moistened but not wet. (It's important to work quickly, keeping everything cold, but taking care to not over mix).
  • Dump the dough mixture onto plastic wrap, gather the edges of the wrap and form the dough into a disk. Cut the disk in half and put on two individual pieces of plastic wrap. Gently form the disks and refrigerate for at least one hour.
  • Once chilled, roll out one of the dough disks with a heavily floured rolling pin and countertop. Begin from the center and roll out to a 12-inch round. Fold the dough in 1/2 and gently place in a 9 or 10-inch tart pan. Either trim the top or run your rolling pin over the top of the tart pan to trim an excess dough.
  • Pierce the entire dough all over with a fork and put the crust in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. Heat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Blind bake your crust. Line crust with aluminum foil sprayed with cooking spray. Tighlty line the crust with foil and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake crust on a parchment lined cookie sheet for 20 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and remove foil and weights. Return to oven for about 15 minutes to fully set the crust. Remove when slightly browned.

For the filling

  • Vigorously whisk eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  • Lightly steam trimmed asparagus. Drain and plunge into ice bath and dry.
  • Melt butter, sauté minced shallot and garlic until translucent. Remove from heat.

To assemble

  • Smear the butter and shallot mix onto the warm crust then fill with egg mixture. Gently add asparagus spears, dollops of ricotta and chives.
  • Slide the tart back into the oven. After 10 minutes, turn the oven down to 350 degrees.
  • Bake until egg mixture is set, about 25 minutes.
  • Cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!