We’re using bright fresh flavors because it’s spring and I’m sure those of you in the snowy parts of the world are looking forward to a good thawing out. Hoping that the weather is getting warmer where you are, I’m starting this lovely season off with a light recipe.The tartlets begin with store bought puff pastry. Store bought because no one has the time to spend making it, and why should we. 1 sheet of pastry is cut into squares, scored 1/4 inch inside the edge and pricked with a fork. This prevents the inside of the tartlets from puffing up too much as you want a nice crust around the edge.
The pastry squares are baked for 5 minutes, just so the dough is not too raw when you add the toppings. Homemade ricotta (you can use store bought, but ricotta is so easy to make) is mixed with lemon, parmesan and nutmeg which all complement the ricotta. Pre-boiled asparagus spears are decoratively placed on top then the tartlets are baked until golden brown. When they come out of the oven they are garnished with fresh parmesan cheese and fresh mint. Told you they were easy.
- 16 spears fresh asparagus and cut to the fit the inside of the tart
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed according to package directions
- 4 tablespoons fresh ricotta
- Zest of 1/2 lemon
- 1 tablespoon fresh Parmesan cheese
- 4 grated fresh nutmeg
- 1 egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon milk
- 1 teaspoon fresh mint leaves, chopped
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Bring a skillet of water to a boil, add salt so it takes like ocean water.
- Fill a large bowl with water and ice.
- Cook the asparagus 2-5 minutes depending on the thickness until they are bright green and tender.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Transfer the asparagus to the ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and transfer to a towel to pat dry.
- Roll out the puff pastry and cut into 4 even squares. My sheet measured 9 1/2 x 9.
- Place the puff pastries onto the parchment lined baking sheet.
- Score with a sharp knife 1/4 inch around, don’t cut through.
- Use a fork to prick holes all over the inside of the tartlets.
- Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, if the centers are puffy, prick with a fork.
- To a small bowl mix well the ricotta, lemon zest, parmesan and nutmeg.
- Brush the edges of the pastry with the egg/milk mixture.
- Spread 1 tablespoon of the ricotta mixture onto each of the tartlets, but not on the edges.
- Place 4 asparagus spears decoratively on each tartlet.
- Bake for 10 minutes until the edges are golden brown.
- Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and chopped mint.
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 407 Saturated Fat: 8g Cholesterol: 49mg Sodium: 202mg Carbohydrates: 31g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 2g Protein: 9g