4/3/12

Asparagus Ricotta Tart


Aren't there some foods that seem naturally fancy? That no matter what you do to them, they lend a certain elegance to the final meal? A friend told me a little while ago about a time when she was going to a dinner and her 9 year old daughter told her to bring back a chocolate covered strawberry. My friend said she didn't know if there would even be chocolate covered strawberries there, and her daughter answered, "Isn't Jana doing the dinner? She's fancy. Of course there will be chocolate covered strawberries." Case closed. I love the way kids draw conclusions.


I do agree with the idea that some foods just naturally seem elegant. Two of these for me are puff pastry and asparagus, so put them both together and this tart is in the realm of parasols and tea time with William and Kate in my mind. The fact that these tarts are easy to make doesn't detract from their fanciness at all to me. It just makes me love them more. Puff pastry, if you haven't had an opportunity to use it yet, is just about the most magical thing in the world. This sheet of dough that you can buy in the freezer section of a regular grocery store bakes into the prettiest, puffiest layers of flaky crust and buttery goodness. It makes the perfect, easy crust for the ricotta mixture and asparagus. With very little hands-on time you can have an impressive-looking, impressive-tasting tart that would be perfect for Easter brunch, an appetizer, or a side dish with a soup.

All elegant, of course. 



Asparagus Ricotta Tart

Ingredients

  • 2 sheets puff pastry, thawed according to package directions (There are two sheets in one package. You can find puff pastry in the freezer section, usually near the pies.)
  • 1 large egg, beaten, for crust
  • 1 large egg, for filling
  • 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed

Directions

  1. Adjust an oven rack to the lower position and hear oven to 375 degrees. Unfold each pastry sheet one at a time and, using a rolling pin, roll each pastry slightly to smooth out the seams and increase the size.
  2. Lay each pastry sheet onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush each pastry with the beaten egg. Fold the edges on opposite sites of the tart over by about 1/2 inch and brush with beaten egg. Repeat with remaining two edges and brush with egg. Fold the first two sides over once more and brush with beaten egg. Use a paring knife to cut through the folded edges and corners. (See photos below) Prick the inside of the tart shell repeatedly with a fork. Bake until light golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly on a wire rack. (If the middle of the pastry has puffed up at all during cooking, push it back down. It's easier to do this before it cools.)
  3. Turn oven down to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, beat together egg, ricotta, cream, milk, salt and pepper. Pour half of the mixture into each baked tart. Lay half the asparagus on top of the ricotta mixture in each tart. Bake another 15-20 minutes or until golden and set. Serve hot or cold.
Prep Time: 10 min Cook Time: 30-40 min Serves: 6-8


Recipe souece: adapted from America's Test Kitchen and Sweet Paul magazine


17 Click For Comments:

This does look beautiful! 

I'm bound and determined to one day just make a HUGE batch of puff pastry and store it in sheets in the freezer like it is at the store so that I don't have to pay $4 a box for it. :) 

I wonder if my husband would eat this. He loves puff pastry but doesn't love asparagus. Maybe I could convince him with the William and Kate idea... :) 

Beautiful! I love how classy tarts look, and how versatile they are :)

This looks devine! Gorgeous photos as well.

This totally DOES look fancy! I gotta remember it for the next brunch I host :) 

This really is beautiful Nicole, and so perfect for spring!

What a fabulously gorgeous tart, Nicole. This is such a great way to use one of my favorite seasonal veggies, and pretty nice lookin' too! I bet it tastes amazing.

Haven't tried asparagus like this before...I am excited to try this out.

Beautiful...and I bet you could sub just about any veg you like or a combo of veg!  

Your pics are always perfect! I love it! This tart is beautiful!

Nicole this is GORGEOUS. What a beautiful photo. And it looks delicious too!

Do you think filo dough would work?

No, not quite the same way. Sorry.

Hi
there, this is a really nice post about asparagus.  It would be great if you linked to it in my
Food on Friday series.  This week it is
about all things asparagus.
Food on Friday

Awesome recipe. Thanks so much for sharing!
If you are interested in finding out about growing your own asparagus.
http://www.wascene.com/home-garden/how-to-grow-asparagus/
Thanks,
Gemma

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