Wishful thinking had me telling my toddler that her lunch was indeed pizza, and not, ahem, a vegetable tart sprinkled with green things. The layer of cheese did little to convince her to even try one bite, but the joke was on me, because ever since she developed culinary opinions she has matter of factly refused most vegetables. Someday, I will wear her down and she won’t be able to refuse my labors of love from the kitchen. I vow to not let her end up like Patrick did in his bachelor years making grocery “lists” of pizza, chocolate milk, and beer (not an exaggeration). We are a far cry from those days as Patrick is now my number one taste tester and, dare I say it, pretty much always right when it comes to recipe critique. And he loves this asparagus tart…one day Adeline will too.
ASPARAGUS TART WITH BREADCRUMB AND WALNUT GREMOLATA
adapted from: Melissa Clark’s recipe on NYT cooking
makes one 10″x12″ tart
a handful of flour, for rolling out the puff pastry
1 puff pastry sheet, defrosted to fridge temp*
6 oz whole milk ricotta
4 oz goat cheese
1 batch of asparagus and gremolata topping (see below)
flaky salt, for serving
chili flakes, for serving
asparagus and gremolata topping:
1 bunch (12-16oz) asparagus, trimmed then chopped at an angle (see photos above)
1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
1/2 cup chopped raw walnuts
1/2 cup loosely packed chopped parsley
1/4 cup box grated parmesan
1/4 cup chopped chives
zest of one large lemon
2-3 large garlic cloves, grated on a microplane
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, toss together all ingredients for the asparagus and gremolata topping. Set aside.
2. Lightly dust a clean surface with flour. Roll out your puff pastry into approximately a 10×12 inch rectangle, then gently transfer to a baking sheet. Using a sharp knife or bread lame, score the perimeter of the pastry about a ½ inch from the edge (do not cut all the way through the pastry). Spread the ricotta over the pastry (avoiding the ½ inch border) and sprinkle the goat cheese onto the ricotta.
3. Bake the pastry for 15 minutes on a middle rack of your oven, then remove from the oven briefly. Evenly spread the asparagus and gremolata topping onto the tart, then bake for another 10 min (for a total of 25 min). The edge of the pastry should be a deep golden brown.
4. Let the tart cool for a few minutes, then sprinkle with flaky salt and chili flakes to taste. Cut into desired number of pieces and serve warm or at room temperature. The tart re-toasts well the next day as leftovers.
*Two FYI’s: First, puff pastry sheets vary in weight- the one I used was 8.5 ounces. Try to use a pastry sheet of that weight or more (one weighing less might not hold together as well). Second, I recommend putting your frozen puff pastry in the fridge the night before using, which gives it plenty of time to defrost to fridge temp.