Wow the crowd with puff pastryP
uff pastry is a really fabulous ingredient to incorporate into your culinary bag of tricks. It is extremely versatile, can be used to make both sweet and savory dishes, and will impress any guest! This easy recipe for Goat Cheese and Asparagus Tarts is one of my favorite uses for puff pastry. It is simple to make and the result is absolutely stunning.
These goat cheese tarts are rustically refined, which is exactly what I am looking to achieve when I cook.
Asparagus & Goat Cheese Tarts can be made in small, bite size versions or larger and served with a side salad for an entree. The results taste great, no matter the size. I often make these in bite size and serve as an hors d’oeuvre along with cocktails. They are always a hit and even better, can be made in advance!
I’ll share a secret. This recipe is an excellent platform for getting really creative with the flavors you like. Once you have the basics down and the onion mixture made, the opportunities are endless. I have made all kinds of tarts based on what I had on hand such as tomato and parmesan, mushroom and brie, and many more varieties. Asparagus and goat cheese is always a winner with my crew so it’s my “go-to” version, but don’t be scared to get creative and do your own thing here if you aren’t a fan of asparagus- just stick to the basics and your tarts will come out amazing!
When using puff pastry, make sure you defrost it in the refrigerator overnight. You need it to remain cold, but it cannot be frozen or it will crack when you start to work it. This means you need to plan one day ahead when you make this tarts, but planning is really the hardest part!
Asparagus and Goat Cheese Tart
- 1 package puff pastry 17.3 ounces/2 sheets puff pastry, defrosted
- olive oil
- 4 cups thinly sliced yellow onions 2 large onions
- 3 large garlic cloves cut into thin slivers
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons dry white wine
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
- 4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
- 4 ounces garlic-and-herb goat cheese
- 1 cup chopped, blanched asparagus
- 12 large Basil leaves, julienned
Unfold a sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll it lightly to an 11 by 11-inch square. Using a 6-inch round object as a guide, cut 2 circles from the sheet of puff pastry, discarding the scraps. Repeat with the second pastry sheet to make 4 circles in all. Place the pastry circles on 2 sheet pans lined with parchment paper and refrigerate until ready to use.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium to low heat and add the onions and garlic. Saute for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are limp and there is almost no moisture remaining in the skillet. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, the wine, and thyme and continue to cook for another 10 minutes, until the onions are lightly browned. Remove from the heat.
Using a sharp paring knife, score a 1/4-inch-wide border around each pastry circle. Prick the pastry inside the score lines with the tines of a fork and sprinkle a tablespoon of grated Parmesan on each round, staying inside the scored border.
Place 1/4 of the onion mixture on each circle, again staying within the scored edge. Crumble 1 ounce of goat cheese on top of the onions. Scatter the Asparagus in the center of each tart. Sprinkle with basil, salt, and pepper.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown. The bottom sheet pan may need an extra few minutes in the oven. Serve warm.