I apologize for my absence over the last few weeks. I got the flu, so needless to say I was pretty out of it. I feel like the last few days I’m finally coming out of the fog and starting to feel normal again. Thank God. I feel a bit like a hibernating bear finally poking it’s head out of the cave after a long winter. I also feel like a hibernating bear cause after not eating for a couple weeks, I’m ravenously devouring everything in sight.
That’s an apt metaphor because Spring has finally come to Colorado. One of the things I love about Colorado is that Spring is an actual season here! Living in the Pacific Northwest much of my life, I thought Spring was just an extension of Winter. It looks and feels pretty much the same, grey and rainy. But in Colorado, Spring exists! It gets warm, the flowers come out and the sun seems to shine even brighter than usual. All this Springy-ness inspired me to make my 1st Spring produce dish.
To me, asparagus is the quintessential Spring vegetable. Maybe cause it looks like big grass. Asparagus has such great flavor so I when I make it I like to keep things simple. I want the flavor to really shine. That’s why I love this tart. It’s simple, easy, quick and just tastes like Spring to me. Puff pastry makes a perfect buttery, crispy base for the ricotta, asparagus and parmesan topping. And for me, what really makes this dish sing is the balsamic drizzle. That little bit of acidity brings the whole tart together.
This dish is another marvel of customization. Think of the recipe as more like suggestions than rules. Don’t like ricotta and parmesan? We can no longer be friends. Use any cheese you want. I think a mild goat cheese, gruyere, or crème fraîche would be good or even a vegan ricotta and vegan parmesan. Can’t find asparagus? Use any vegetable that strikes your fancy. You can make this tart as unique as you want it. If you come up with any great combos please share with me!
- 1 sheet puff pastry (frozen or homemade)
- ½ cup ricotta cheese or a vegan soft cheese
- 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
- Olive oil
- ¼ cup grated parmesan (normal or vegan)
- Salt and pepper
- Balsamic vinegar drizzle
- Heat oven to 400 degrees.
- Roll out puff pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface until it’s about a 14x10 in rectangle and then place rolled out pastry sheet onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Lightly score the pastry sheet 1 inch from the edges to make a large rectangle inside of the sheet. This marks where “the crust” will be.
- Pierce the pastry sheet with a fork all over inside the rectangle. This will keep the inside part from puffing too much.
- Bake for 10-15 min or under it starts to get golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and place on the counter to cool for a minute.
- Spread the ricotta all over the inside rectangle.
- Place the asparagus on top of the ricotta.
- Brush the asparagus with olive oil until well coated.
- Sprinkle parmesan on top.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Bake for 15-20 min or until asparagus is tender. Watch carefully to make sure the puff pastry doesn’t burn.
- Remove from the oven and drizzle balsamic vinegar over the tart.