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Monday, June 2, 2008

asparagus-ricotta tart with soppressata

asparagus ricotta tart

I've seen a lot of food blogs touting all kinds of tarts and puff pastries, so I figured it's about time I featured one on AHB. In the April issue of Bon Appetit, there was a spring-y "asparagus-ricotta tart" that sneaks in little slices of soppressata, which spices up an otherwise fluffy tea party type of dish (yes, I really just called it that). It was delicious, but to feed my hungry bear, I'd have to make about 3 of them for one meal - and there's no way I can convince him that this is high-protein and low-carb enough. I think it would be best as an appetizer for cocktail hour, which I'll probably do in the future.

Grocery list: 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed (note, I used about half a package of phyllo dough, spreading olive oil between the sheets, and it was great), 1 egg, 1 pound asparagus, 1/2 cup whole-milk ricotta, 3 ounces hot soppressata (note, this is twice what the original called for), 3 ounces grated comte or gruyere cheese.

fillo dough

If you end up using phyllo dough like I did, you'll want to prep it by brushing olive oil between the sheets. I used about 8-10 layers of phyllo, or half the package. If you were using puff pastry, you'd have to roll it out, then use the beaten egg to brush around the edges to form a crust. Transfer whatever crust you use to a 13 x 10 rimmed baking sheet.

tart ingredients ready

Next, steam asparagus for 3 minutes, then cool in an ice water bath and drain. Cut off the top 2 inches of the asparagus stalks and set aside to use as toppings for the tart.

pureed asparagus

Roughly chop the rest of the asparagus and place in a food processor to puree; add the ricotta, the rest of the beaten egg, 3 tsp olive oil, and salt and pepper.

asparagus filling

Transfer this puree to a bowl, then stir in chopped soppressata and about half of the grated gruyere.

asparagus tart ready to bake

Spread the filling evenly on the bottom of the pastry / phyllo crust. Toss the asparagus tips with 1 tsp olive oil and more salt and pepper, then arrange on the top of the tart. Sprinkle with the remaining gruyere cheese.

finished asparagus tart

Bake for 20-25 minutes at 400 degrees, until the filling is set. Can be served warm or room temperature.

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