By Ceri Wilkin, Miss August 2014
As soon as Fayetteville passed the ordinance to allow chickens within city limits, we were down to the local farmers co-op, choosing four adorable chicks, and eagerly carrying them to their new home in our backyard.
Initially they had the run of the place, but there is no toilet training a chicken, and cleaning off the pool deck became tedious every time we wanted to swim. So they now enjoy scratching, pecking and perching in their custom made coop, and we enjoy collecting their eggs from one place, as opposed to having to search for them throughout the yard.
I’m not sure my palate is sophisticated enough to notice a difference in taste between store-bought eggs and our yard eggs. However, the difference in nutritional value, and color is significant, and an unexpected perk – chicken psychology and behavior is fascinating!
SAVORY VEGETABLE AND GOAT CHEESE TART
1 store bought pie crust
1 to 2 bunches of asparagus
3 tablespoons of olive oil, divided use
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon butter
5 green onions, thinly sliced
8 ounces soft goat cheese
1/4 cup creme fraiche
1/4 cup cream
1 tablespoon finely chopped flat leaf parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh tarragon
Bake crust according to package instructions. Let cool on a wire rack.
Heat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Cut off the top 1 to 1 1/2 inch of the asparagus tips. Toss in a small bowl with 2 tablespoons of oil, season with salt and pepper. Place in a single layer on prepared sheet, roast, turning once, until asparagus is bright green and tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. (I roasted this at the same time as I baked the crust).
Reduce oven temperature to 375F.
Heat remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add sliced asparagus stalks and green onion, season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until onions are soft and asparagus is bright green and tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Let cool slightly, spread evenly over bottom of tart crust.
Whisk goat cheese, creme fraiche, cream, parsley, chives and tarragon, in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Whisk in eggs. Pour over vegetables. Scatter asparagus tips over the top. Bake tart until the edges of the crust are golden brown and filling is set, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool in pan for 20 minutes.
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit, May 2012