With the asparagus season now over half way through, I still can’t get enough of the stuff. I was out shopping the other day at a local farm shop, and I spotted a magnificent bundle of asparagus for sale. Looked superb, I couldn’t resist, I had to buy a bundle. I didn’t matter to me that I already had a a stack of them in the fridge that I picked the other day!
Lemon and mint goes fantastically well with asparagus. This is ideal for a spring/summer lunch, with a cold glass of Sauvignon Blanc.
Asparagus and Ricotta Tart, with Lemon and Mint
:: 375g pack ready rolled Puff Pastry :: 250g Ricotta :: 1 Lemon (zest & juice) :: 20 spears of Asparagus :: Parmesan :: Mint finely chopped :: Chives :: Salt & Pepper :: Olive Oil
Preheat oven to Gas Mark 6/200C. Unroll the puff pastry and cut into 4 rectangles (approx. 17cm x 12cm). Mark a border with a knife about 1½cm from the edge, but don’t cut all the way through. Very lightly score a lattice on the board for a decorative effect. Place in the oven for 8-10 mins until puffed and is lightly golden. Leave to cool, and using the back of a fork, push down the middle.
Mix the ricotta with the lemon zest and juice, and season. Divide this between the four tart shells and gently spread out. Carefully push into the ricotta mixture 5 asparagus spears into each tart. Drizzle with olive oil and put in the oven for 10 mins until the pastry is golden and the asparagus starts to wrinkle.
Sprinkle over the mint, shave over some parmesan and place the chives on top. Give a final drizzle of olive oil and serve warm with a dressed salad.