Do you know how to store asparagus? If you're like me, you've taken it out of the fridge only to find the beautiful tips are spoiled. They were in a plastic bag, weren't they? Asparagus likes air! Take it out of that plastic bag. You can pop them into a glass with or without water, but make sure the tips can breathe!
This is the second time I have tried this recipe. The first one crashed on the first step. Be sure to follow the instructions for thawing your puff pastry. I think mine sat at room temperature too long because I was afraid it would break when I unfolded it. Once you get past that point, it's a snap. You don't want to add any flour when you're rolling it out, so I did it on the parchment paper and placed a second piece on top, which was easy to pull off.
Recipes say to roll it out to 10 x 18. Do you hear me laughing hysterically? Maybe they used a different type of puff pastry. Mine was roughly 10 x 13 and it wasn't ever going to be 18 inches long.
I noticed that a lot of recipes for this kind of tart par-boil the asparagus first. I haven't cooked asparagus in water since the first time I roasted it. You can't beat the flavor or the texture of roasted asparagus. So I just seasoned the asparagus like I do when I roast it and plopped it on the tart. It came out perfectly tender and delicious.
When you choose a cheese for this dish, select a milder tasting cheese (not a sharp cheddar) so the cheese doesn't drown the lovely flavor of the asparagus. I used Cablanca, a white goat cheese. I kept it pretty simple. You could add a sprinkle of bacon or prosciutto bits, or some chopped roasted red peppers or shallots, if you like. And don't sweat the measurements. If you have a little bit less cheese, that will be fine, too.
Do be sure to sprinkle some cheese on the edges of the puff pastry around the asparagus, so that part will be delicious, too.
1 sheet puff pastry
1 bundle fresh asparagus
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper
8 ounces cheese, shredded
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Thaw the puff pastry according to directions. Preheat the oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll the pastry out as much as you can. Prick the pastry all over with a fork. Bake for about 12 minutes.
Meanwhile, wash the asparagus and snap off the woody ends. Drizzle the olive oil over the asparagus tips. Sprinkle the asparagus tips with garlic powder, salt, and pepper then roll them back and forth a few times to coat them.
When the puff pastry has cooled slightly, scatter about 3/4 of the shredded cheese over the pastry. Line up the asparagus on top of the cheese in a single layer. Scatter the rest of the cheese over it and on the edges. Sprinkle with the Parmesan. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
|Prick the puff pastry.|
|Roll the asparagus back and forth to coat.|
|When the pastry has cooled slightly, add the cheese.|
|Don't forget the Parmesan!|
|It cuts beautifully. Just press a sharp knife down into the pastry.|