Puff pastry is our friend so don't wait for company or a frou-frou party for an excuse to make these taty tarts. Elegant, easy-to-use and above all versatile it instantly elevates any ingredient. Earlier this year I made Ina Garten's tomato goat cheese tarts and was smitten at first bite. Today, I put together spring flavors and pantry staples. Served with a simple salad this made a perfect lunch.
The first approach uses rectangular puff pieces covered with sauteed beer mushrooms and Parmesan. The second uses Neufatchel with fresh herbs topped with two asparagus springs.
Servings: 3 tarts
1 piece of puff pastry, defrosted, cut in thirds, lengthwise
1 lb. button mushrooms, stemmed and diced
1/2 cup ale beer
1 large shallot, minced
1 teaspooon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons butter
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. In a large pan heat the butter. Add minced shallot cook until fragrant. Add mushrooms, salt and pepper. Cook on medium heat until mushroom are golden about 15 minutes. Deglaze with the beer. Meanwhile using a sharp knife draw a 1/4 inch border on each puff pastry piece. Take a few large spoonfuls of the mushroom mixture and place inside the puff pastry border. Top each rectangle with 1 tablespoon Parmesan. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden and puffy.
Asparagus Neufatchel Tart
Servings: 9 tarts
1 piece of puff pastry defrosted cut into 3x3 squares
18 stalks of asparagus, ends trimmed
4 oz. neufatchel, room temperature
1/2 tablespoon thyme
1 tablespoon parsley
1 teaspoon rosemary
pinch of salt and pepper
Pre heat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, combine neufatchel and herbs. Smear 1 about 1 tablespoon of the cheese on each puff pastry piece. Top with 2 stalks of asparagus. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes.