It’s spring! FINALLY!! Well, at least calendar wise.. It still gets quite chilly in the morning over here, but at least the sun is shining more often, it is slowly getting greener out there, and I am already starting to put aside those thick wool scarves, gloves, winter boots.. all those extra things that I simply don’t enjoy wearing. I am so ready for the new season!
From a culinary point of view which one is a better way to start into the new season, than going to the market and seeing the first green asparagus being sold? Without hesitating it ended up in my shopping bag and 2 hours later it was on the plate, ready to be eaten :)
I don’t use puff pastry that often, but I like having it in the fridge once in a while. Especially on those lazy days.. It comes in handy when I want to make a quick dish. Like this one. This tart doesn’t take longer than 15 minutes to prepare, before you can throw it into the oven.
The pesto that I ended up using this time was slightly different than the typical basil pesto that I posted here. Last week I had neither pine nuts, nor garlic at home. So I ended up using some chopped almonds instead, together with the basil, olive oil and parmesan cheese. And it turned out really good! Especially that extra crunchiness.. You should give it a try!
- 500 g / 17½ oz of fresh green asparagus
- 3 full tbsp of crème fraîche
- 1 full tbsp of basil pesto
- 250 g / 9 oz of puff pastry
- olive oil
- ground red pepper
- Clean the asparagus by cutting off the woody bottom part (approx. ¼ of the stem). You can also break it with your hands. It will naturally brake off where the tender part begins.
- Wash under running water.
- If the asparagus is very thin, leave it the way it is, otherwise you can halve it carefully lengthwise.
- Sprinkle a large pan with olive oil and turn the stove to medium heat.
- Place the asparagus inside of the pan. Season with salt, oregano and ground red pepper. (Alternatively, you can also bake them at 200°C / 392°F - using the grill function of your oven, if available.)
- Roast for about 5 minutes. Then turn them until both sides get a little brown.
- In the meantime place the crème fraîche with the pesto into a bowl and stir well with a spoon. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C / 392°F.
- Roll out the puff pastry and cut into three rectangles. Place on a baking paper covered baking sheet.
- Spread one tbsp of the crème fraîche-pesto mix on each one. Make sure to leave an edge all around the rectangle of approx. 2 cm / ¾ ".
- Lay the asparagus next to eachother on top of the cream.
- Bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown.
- Serve by itself or with a green salad.