I have shared with you all my absolute love of asparagus. Well, news flash: I also LOVE balsamic anything and anything made with puff pastry. I mean who doesn’t love puff pastry?! When I saw these little gems on Joy’s blog, I swooned. I happened to have everything in my house other than the pastry, so I promptly ran to Target at lunch to pick some up. Best. decision. ever. Matt and I downed all 6 of these, along with a strawberry & spinach salad (will share soon). Oh my, was it a satisfying dinner! These would also be lovely as an appetizer for a small dinner party. Each of the tarts could easily be cut into smaller pieces to serve.
you will need:
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed but still cold.
1 egg, beaten
1½ cups finely grated gruyere cheese
1 bunch slender asparagus
salt and coarse ground black pepper
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 400° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Unfold thawed puff pastry onto a lightly floured work surface. Unfold the pastry and slice into thirds at the creases. Cut each strip in half, creating six equally sized rectangles.
Gently press each rectangle with your fingers, flattening slightly. With a small pairing knife, score a 1/4 inch boarder along the inside of each rectangle. Arrange 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet.
Brush each square lightly with beaten egg. Sprinkle with salt and coarse ground black pepper. Top with a generous sprinkling of grated cheese. Press five to six asparagus spears into the cheese. Brush the asparagus with olive oil and sprinkle with more coarsely ground black pepper.
*To make a balsamic reduction: combine ¼ to ½ cup of balsamic vinegar with 1 to 2 tablespoon of sugar. Stir and set over medium heat until mixture begins to simmer. Turn heat to low and let simmer until mixture is reduced by half and thickens. Set aside until ready to serve.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until puff pastry is golden brown and asparagus is cooked through. Remove from the oven, allow to cool for a few minutes before serving. Drizzle with thick balsamic reduction and serve.
Joy says that the tarts can be stored, well wrapped in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, but I’m willing to bet you all the money I have (it’s not a lot, don’t get excited) that you will inhale them all shortly after they are cool enough to eat!
makes: 6 tarts
time: 20 min. prep + 25 min. cook
from: Joy the Baker