When I went to the market this week, I was overwhelmed by the signs of spring offered by every vendor: fresh peas, strawberries, friar’s beard, artichokes, and fava beans were the belles of the ball. And of course, I couldn’t help but noticing my old, favorite friend, asparagus, making its yearly debut at every vegetable stand. These darling tarts are a quick and easy way to showcase this fleeting, seasonal delight.
Are you crazy for asparagus? Then you’ll love these recipes too:
- Eggs with agretti, asparagus and feta
- Asparagus grilled-cheese sandwich with egg and taleggio
- Spaghetti with agretti, asparagus and lemon
- Asparagus Lasagna
- Savory Asparagus Muffins
Asparagus and Radish Tarts
- 1/2 lb puff pastry, rolled 1/4 inch thick and cut into 4 bigger or 6 smaller squares
- 2.2 oz (100 g) goat cheese
- 4-5 fresh radishes, with greens attached
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice, divided
- 2 teaspoon lemon zest, divided
- 1 egg, beaten
- 3-4 spring onions, sliced into thin rounds
- 1 bunch (200 g) thin asparagus, trimmed and washed
- Extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the squares of puff pastry on the sheet. Using a sharp knife, score a 1/2-inch border around the edge of the pastry, taking care not to cut all the way through. Gently prick the bottom of pastry (inside the border) with a fork. Transfer to freezer for 5-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the washed radish greens, goat cheese, a pinch of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon zest in a food processor; blend until smooth. Divide the cheese mixture between the tarts and spread within the borders of the puff pastry. Brush the edges of the pastry with the beaten egg.
Cut the asparagus into 2-inch pieces (if your asparagus is thick, cut in half lengthwise as well). In a medium bowl, stir together 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, 1 teaspoon zest, 1 teaspoon of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well, then add asparagus and onion rounds, and toss to coat. Divide among the tarts, pressing the asparagus into the goat cheese mixture.
Bake tarts, rotating the pan occasionally, until dark brown and crispy, about 25-30 minutes. Meanwhile, thinly slice the radishes add to a bowl with remaining 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon zest and a teaspoon of olive oil; toss to coat. As soon as the tarts come out of the oven, arrange the radish slices on top and serve warm.