My food blogging pal Shelley, of the lovely Franish Nonspeaker, is expecting the arrival of dear sweet baby Ruby very soon, and a few of her friends decided to throw her a virtual baby shower. Neat, huh? Shelley was one of the first food bloggers I connected with almost right off the bat, in early 2011, when I was just a blogging newbie. I don't think she's missed commenting on a single one of my posts, and that's a lot of posts! So with our back and forth banter we've sort of gotten to know each other and I have no doubt that if I was in sweltering Austin today, this tart would come with me to her house, where we'd drink lemonade and talk about boys and babies and True Blood. I'm hoping one day I'll have the honour of meeting Miss Ruby in real life.
I know many of the participants in the shower are doing freezer - friendly dishes for Shelley to easily whip up and then defrost as needed. I'm not so practical like that, but this tart is super easy and honestly just took 10 minutes to prep and 20 to bake. Plus there is bacon on it and I know how much new moms love bacon, and cheese and puff pastry. This tart is simple enough to whip up as a quick appetizer, so if you are hosting a baby or wedding shower this summer, I've got you covered. Here we go!
Asparagus. The local stuff is waning and that makes me sad, so enjoy it while you can! I tossed it in a bit of olive oil, fresh lemon zest and coarse salt and pepper. So lovely in the light, no?
Lay out a sheet of puff pastry (you can get boxes of it already rolled thin - greatest invention ever!) Cover it with Boursin and asiago cheese, chopped bacon and of course the asparagus. Bake until golden and it's a thing of beauty. Scatter it with fresh mint leaves and when you get a bite of asparagus tart with a snippet of fresh mint, it's a flavour sensation, folks. Fresh and delicious and heaped high with bacon and cheesy goodness, this tart will surely to put smiles on those gathered around you this summer. Speaking of smiles, I can only imagine the joy Shelley will feel when she sees the face of baby Ruby for the first time. All the best to you, my friend.
Roasted Asparagus, Bacon & Cheese Tart
This recipe makes enough for two tarts.
1 large bunch of medium-sized asparagus, with rough ends snapped off.
1 tbsp olive oil
zest of 1 lemon
coarse salt and pepper
2 sheets of puff pastry, thawed according to package instructions
1 pkg of Boursin cheese (Herb and Garlic)
1 cup grated asiago or gouda cheese
10 pieces of cooked bacon, chopped
1 egg, beaten with a little water
2 tbsp torn mint leaves
Preheat oven to 400*F
Toss together in a bowl asparagus, olive oil, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Set aside.
Unroll sheets of puff pastry (or roll out to roughly 10 x 15 inches). Use a paring knife to score a line around the perimeter of the pastry, about 1 inch from the edge. Place on parchment lined bake sheets (you'll need two sheets). With a fork, poke holes all over pastry within the border, so that this part remains flat during baking, while the border will puff up. Crumble half package of Boursin on each piece of puff pastry. Scatter each with asiago and bacon. Top with marinated asparagus (I lined it up in pretty rows). Use a pastry brush and spread the egg wash along the border. Place in oven and bake for 20-22 minutes, until golden. Serve warm or room temp. Makes 16 wedges. Recipe adapted from House and Home, April 2012.
Here are the rest of the participants in the virtual baby shower - do take a peek to see what they came up with. Shelley made the most gorgeous cake for her own real-life baby shower. What a lady!
Anna from Keep It Luce
Carrie from Bakeaholic Mama
Christina from Girl Gone Grits
Elaine from California Living
Esra from Irmik Hanim
Ilke from Ilke’s Kitchen
Jennie from Pastry Chef Online
Jennifer from Scissors and Spatulas
Lana from Bibberche
Lisa from Lisa Is Cooking
Renee from Sweet Sugar Bean
Robin from A Chow Life
Sarah from Snippets of Thyme