Sep 29th, 2008 by Amy
In recent years, I’ve become a food magazine junkie. I’ve pretty much ordered every single one over the past 10 years (no Rachael Ray & Martha Stewart mags don’t count in my world) and found that only a small handful are worth reordering (ahem, Saveur, Gourmet, Cucina Italiana, Food & Wine). One that I keep reordering but often question why is Bon Appetit. When they relaunched the magazine about a year ago with a new look I had a few opinions because I felt like the direction of the mag was changing – and not for the better. Regardless, I decided to give it a shot and, just like I do with my favorite food mags every month, I read the whole magazine – every page, cover to cover. I’ve continued to do this month after month, and month after month I feel the same way – uninspired. But one lovely and delicious-looking dish in the April 2008 issue struck me – an asparagus and ricotta tart made with puff pastry. I loved the idea of using ricotta along with the traditional quiche ingredients to make a tart. I imagined the flavor, texture and smell – I was inspired!
I tweaked the original Bon Appetit recipe a bit and only had a piece of puff pastry in the freezer and some pie crusts. I will write the recipe asking you to use only puff pastry, but feel free to do what we did and roll out defrosted pie crusts, shape into a rectangle and line the outside of the tart with strips of puff pastry. It works just as well!
The taste of this tart was light and chewy. Using various different veggies and ricotta over all eggs helped me convince myself that I was eating healthy. Even after a few helpings, I knew I was kidding myself but I’ve never been one of those fools that really believed that “a moment on the lips is a lifetime on the hips”. If I did I’d be much thinner and this blog would not exist, clearly!
Btw… thanks to our friend at Serious Eats who featured this post in their “Blogwatch” section recently. Gracias!
ASPARAGUS, CREMINI AND TOMATO TART WITH RICOTTA AND PETITE JURASSIC CHEESE
- 2 sheet of thawed puff pastry (1/2 of a 17.3 oz. package)
- 1 egg, beaten
- about 10 to 12 asparagus spears
- 6-8 grape tomatoes, sliced in half
- 6-8 cremini mushrooms (or white/brown mushrooms), sliced in half
- 1/2 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
- 4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- pinch of salt
- 6 slices of thinly-sliced genoa salami, soppressata or other sliced cured meat of your choice
- 2/3 cup grated Petite Jurassic cheese (or Gruyere, Swiss or Comte cheese)
What to do:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out puff pastry on floured surface and roll into a large rectangle (about the size of a long baking sheet). Cut 1/2 inch of puff pastry from each side and brush the sides with a bit of the beaten egg. Place 1/2 inch pieces all along the edges of the puff pastry tart so that the egg is the binding ingredient. Transfer to a baking sheet.
- Steam asparagus until so it’s crisp-tender – about 2 to 3 minutes. Shock in an ice bath to keep color and texture. Chop the bottom 2 inches of the asparagus off and puree these in a food processor along with the rest of the beaten egg, ricotta, the olive oil and pinch of salt. Transfer to bowl.
- Spread the asparagus puree on the bottom of your tart, reserving a few tablespoons. It will fill up to about 1/8 of an inch high. Make sure it is coated evenly. Nestle the pieces of salami into the puree in random places around the tart. Sprinkle your cheese around the tart as well and put your remaining tablespoons of asparagus puree over the pieces of salami (so to cover them).
- Add your sliced grape tomatoes, asparagus spears and mushrooms to the top of the tart – make it look pretty, why not.
- Drizzle some olive oil over the top and bake about 25 to 30 minutes or until the filling is set. Serve warm or cold along with a salad or for breakfast with a runny egg.
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