After first trying my friend Haley’s Baked Ricotta appetizer, I knew I wanted to create a few other dishes with the same herby ricotta spread. This tart came out of an inspiration for that as well as my seasonal crush on asparagus. Years ago, Mark Bittman, famous NY Times food writer, introduced me to the idea of shaving asparagus spears, raw, and seasoning them minimally for an easy seasonal side dish. Ever since then, at least one time in the Spring, I’ll grab a bundle of farmer’s market fresh asparagus and do just that.
This recipe simply combines, the two simple recipes – Haley’s baked ricotta and Mark Bittman’s shaved raw asparagus, making a totally new and wonderful dish. Puff pastry make the simple tart base, just don’t forget to thaw it out before you’re ready to assemble (I forget almost every time!).
If you want make the full recipe for the baked ricotta, you can also bake off the other half to serve with crackers etc.
To shave the asparagus, all you’ll need is a sharp vegetable or potato peeler. Press down firmly into the asparagus spear to get a full long strand of asparagus. Continue, flipping the asparagus over on the other side to get as much of the stalk as possible. Save the remaining asparagus for another recipe (shop up into a stir fry or omelet).
Toss the asparagus ribbons with lemon juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper before placing them on top of the warm tart.
And that’s all folks! A simple, elegant Spring dish ready to share!
Here are some more great Spring recipes to put on your list!
Papaya-Lime Smoothie Bowl with Toasted Cashew-Quinoa Cereal by Floating Kitchen
Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken Rice Noodle Bowls: Bun Ga Nuong by Food For My Family
Rhubarb Ginger-Berry Bourbon Cooler by Climbing Grier Mountain
Marinated Beets with White Wine Vinegar by Project Domestication
Shallot and Red Wine Jam by Letty’s Kitchen
Lemon Rosemary Shrimp and Broccoli Slaw by Cookin’ Canuck
Spring Vegetable Lemon Risotto by Flavor the Moments
Key Lime Pie by Foodie Crush
A Spring appetizer that is as much a crowd pleasure as it is beautiful.
- 1 puff pastry sheet thawed and trimmed to preferred size
- 1/2 recipe for baked ricotta
- 8 ounces asparagus
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Prepare a 1/2 recipe for baked ricotta according to directions, mixing together ricotta, lemon zest, herbs and spices.
Roll out the thawed puff pastry on a lightly floured surface and trim to preferred size. I like to trim off one edge and add it to the short edge to make the tart long and thin. Place this rectangle onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
Spread ricotta mixture over the pastry. Dollop the ricotta then use the back of a spoon to spread it; it doesn't have to be perfect.
Bake in the oven at 400 for 16-18 minutes or until edges start to turn a golden brown color.
As the tart bakes, use a vegetable peeler to make ribbons out of the asparagus. You must press down firmly to get a full, long, ribbon from the spear. Each spear should give you 4-5 ribbons, leaving you with a thick middle to save for another recipe.
Toss ribbons with lemon juice, olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Once tart is done baking, remove from oven and top with marinated asparagus ribbons. Serve immediately.