In My Kitchen: Asparagus, Pea & Ricotta Tarts

When I whip something up to eat by throwing what I have around in a pan, it inevitably ends up being something with peas, asparagus and lemon. I just love this combination of flavors together. It’s sweet, savory, fresh, decadent and so summery.

When I saw this recipe for asparagus, pea and ricotta tarts on PureWow, I knew I just had to give it a try.

This recipe is at a moderate skill level – you don’t need to be a pastry chef to achieve a delicious result, but you need a little bit of cooking skill.

For 6 tarts, you’ll need:

  • 2 sheets store-bought puff pastry dough
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • ½ bunch asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup peas (fresh or thawed, if frozen)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh mint

DIRECTIONS (from PureWow)
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry sheets until they are slightly flattened. Place the sheets next to each other, overlapping a little bit. Use your fingers to press them together to make one large sheet.

3. Using a knife or pizza cutter, slice the puff pastry into thirds, and then slice each third in half so that you have six 5-by-6-inch rectangles. Transfer the rectangles to the prepared baking sheets.

4. In a small bowl, whisk the ricotta with the garlic powder, lemon zest, lemon juice and egg to combine.

5. In a medium bowl, toss the asparagus with the olive oil to coat. Season with salt and pepper.

6. Scoop 3 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture onto each piece of pastry. Divide the asparagus evenly among the tarts. Fold the edges of the pastry dough onto the ricotta and press gently to seal.

7. Bake until the pastries are golden brown and the asparagus is tender, 20 minutes. Sprinkle the peas on top of each tart and then bake for 7 to 10 minutes more.

8. Let the tarts cool completely and then garnish each with 2 teaspoons of the mint before serving.

These tarts were a huge hit with my boyfriend, who normally hates peas. The puff pastry turned out perfectly – light and crisp, with flaky sides and a doughy bottom. The lemon and puff pastry added sweetness, while the asparagus and peas added a savory flavor. My mouth is watering just typing out the flavor profile right now.

Best of all, they reheated well the next day for leftovers (although obviously the puff pastry wasn’t as crisp as the night before).

I’d love to give this recipe a try with sun-dried tomatoes next!

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