Today's lunch came right from the pages of Nigel Slater's Notes From the Larder.
June 1st entry on page 230 ... thank you very much!
Perfectly blanched asparagus spears
Boxed puff pastry sheets cut into rectangles a bit long than the asparagus spears and given a 'frame slit' with a sharp knife
A warm cheese sauce made with heavy cream and grated Parmesan drizzled beneath and over top the spears
Baked in a hot oven for 18 minutes and topped with lemon zest and chopped parsley
Tasty lunch with a handful of cherry tomatoes and a glass of tonic water with lemon
Hello Springtime on the back porch!
Asparagus Tarts with Lemon and Cream
Makes 5 tarts
1 box puff pastry sheets, cut into five rectangular strips about 3” wide and longer than the asparagus spears
10 perfect asparagus spears, blanched for 2 minutes in boiling water and placed in an ice bath
½ c. heavy cream
⅓ c. grated Parmesan cheese
black pepper, to taste
flat leaf parsley, a few sprigs, finely chopped
zest of ½ lemon
Making the Tarts:
- Preheat the oven to 400 ° F. Place the puff pastry strips on a rimmed cookie sheet and score a rectangular ‘frame’ in the dough with a sharp knife.
- Dry the blanched asparagus spears on paper towels while you make the cream sauce.
- Place the cream and cheese in a small saucepan and stir over low heat until the cheese is almost melted.
- Drizzle a generous teaspoon of the sauce on the inner rectangle space of each pastry strip.
- Lay the spears atop the sauce, and drizzle the rest of the sauce over top the spears.
- Sprinkle on the black pepper
- Bake for 15 to 20 minute in the preheated oven or until the pastry is golden and the sauce bubbly and golden.
- Serve right from the oven.
Note: I think these tarts would be terrific with hard boiled eggs chopped and added to the cream sauce. They were truly delish when I subbed in apple slices, a bit of butter mixed with sugar, cardamom, and cinnamon and made three little tarts for dessert this evening ... just look.
Honestly, why would I change up the chef this week's IHCC Potluck ? I have missed a couple weeks of posting Nigel recipes, so this is a good way to catch up just a bit. Perhaps others will post some of the other I Heart Cooking Club chefs; pop over to see what's sitting on the potluck table!