Spring has sprung in the form of the asparagus season!
It's one of my favourite vegetables as it's so delicious just simply chargrilled, roasted or steamed and topped with a little butter and sea salt.
A bunch of new season asparagus is the feature of this tart and pairs wonderfully with some smokey pancetta, creamy mascarpone and ricotta and topped with melted parmesan cheese.
It's perfect for brunch, lunch or a special spring-time dinner.
1 big bunch asparagus
320g roll of ready made puff pastry
2-3tbsp olive oil
1 large garlic clove, peeled
50ml single cream
Small bunch fresh parsley and chives
A few rashers of smoky pancetta
Sea salt and black pepper
Large handful of walnuts
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (fan.)
Wash the asparagus and then holding them in the middle snap the stalks off. They will snap off naturally at the right place where they are tender. Discard the tough lower stalk. Then wash the asparagus and mix in a bowl with a few tablespoons of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt.
In a small bowl mix together the mascarpone, ricotta, single cream, finely chopped garlic, parsley and chives and a good seasoning of salt and black pepper.
Next line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. I use a baking tray with small holes in to ensure the underside of the pastry is cooked properly. Lay the sheet of puff pastry onto the baking tray and spread evenly with the mascarpone mixture. Make sure to leave a good border of pastry around the edge.
Then lay over the rashers of pancetta and top with the asparagus, arranged neatly in a line. Sprinkle with a little more sea salt and pepper and a generous grating of fresh parmesan.
Beat an egg with a fork in a small bowl and then using a pastry brush, brush the edges of the pastry with the egg. Bake the tart on the middle shelf in the oven for around 20 minutes and then turn the heat down to 150 degrees C and cook for another 10 minutes until the asparagus is tender and the pastry puffed up and golden.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Top with some crushed, toasted walnuts and some more grated parmesan. Serve warm with a big leafy salad.
Inspiration taken from : http://notwithoutsalt.com/2011/06/20/asparagus-tart-with-walnuts-and-parmesan/