Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Happy Spring: BEST Asparagus Tart



Spring is here. Or is it? I'll believe it when I see it.

The date is officially tomorrow, March 21, but since it's been so unseasonably warm here, I figured I would get a head start on my spring vegetables (I did see rhubarb in the grocery store, a sure sign of spring!).

The local asparagus is not available until May in these parts, but I thought I would share this one with you anyway, just in time for Easter (you can thank me later).

This is my favorite asparagus tart so far, and I have made MANY.

The original recipe calls for a good salami, but I substituted speck (a smoked prosciutto). If you can't find (or don't want to spend the big bucks) on Comte, a French style Gruyere (that is so good!), then substitute a Gruyere or Swiss. Even Parimigiano Reggiano is a nice choice.



And here is that puff pastry again.....I took Claudia's suggestion and wrote to Pepperidge Farm, telling them how much I like their product and constantly blab about it on my blog and that I should get a lifetime supply of puff pastry as advertising fees.

Well, don't you know, a week later, I received a coupon in the mail for -$1.00 off the purchase of their product. WOW, what sports. (no comment).



Best Asparagus Tart: (adapted from Bon Appetit)

1 sheet frozen puff pastry (half of 17.3-ounce package), thawed
1 egg, beaten to blend
1 pound slender asparagus spears, trimmed
3/4 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
3 tbsp olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 ounces thinly sliced soppressata, or other salami, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2/3 cup grated Comté cheese (about 3 ounces), divided

Roll out the defrosted puff pastry to fit a half sheet pan. Keep chilled in the fridge until ready to use.

I blanched my asparagus spears in some water in the microwave for 2.5 minutes and they came out perfectly, but you can blanch them anyway you like, I was being lazy.

Cut 2-3" from the tops of the asparagus. Mix with a tablespoon of olive oil and set aside.

In a food processor, puree the ricotta cheese, egg, 2 tbsp olive oil, salt and asparagus stalks until a light green puree forms.

With a spoon, hand mix in the chopped salami or ham and 1/3 cup of Comte cheese (do not process in the machine). This is your filling.

Spread the asparagus ricotta filling over the prepared puff pastry on the half sheet pan, leaving a 1" border on the sides.
Carefully fold over the sides and brush with an egg wash or cold water to seal the edges.

Sprinkle a bit more Comte cheese over the ricotta and decorate with the asparagus tops.

Bake for 23-25 minutes in a 400F oven.



Let rest for a few minutes before diving in. This smells divine while baking and tastes even better than it smells!

DELICIOUSNESS!



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10 comments:

Proud Italian Cook said...

This is a beautiful thing to look at first thing in the morning! A $1.00??
They should have stocked your freezer!

Lori Lynn said...

That is gorgeous. Happy Spring Stace!
LL

Anonymous said...

You're cute when you're mad.

Stacey Snacks said...

Who's mad??????

Oui, Chef said...

I haven't yet seen any local asparagus either, but when I do I am going to make this lovely thing. - S

SEMS Library Lady said...

This looks so good! I stock up in December when Trader Joe's has puff pastry sheets. He may call me a hoarder, but my husband will happily dig into this tart when I make it!

Jersey Girl Cooks said...

Love asparagus at this time of year! And of course I love all your tarts.

Joanne said...

I'll only believe its spring once the asparagus stops being so expensive! This tart looks delicious!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Wow, how generous of them. Your tart should win a prize - it looks fantastic.

Christine said...

Yay, another delicious-looking recipe using asparagus, I can't get enough. Love this time of year when stores have .99/lb. sales on it. Makes me want to buy ten pounds! Needless to say, shopping requires a great deal of self-restraint during asparagus season!