Monday, July 30, 2007
While blog trolling during my late night bouts of insomnia last week, I found so many recipes utilizing puff pastry. Never having worked with it before I was quite intrigued. I found several I liked both sweet and savory but a savory one on The Village Vegetable was the most inspiring as it incorporated two of my favorite greens: asparagus and arugula.
Since the original recipe was vegetarian and I am most definitely a carnivore, I tweaked it a bit more to my taste.
I invited a good friend over for dinner Saturday and with the weather having been so unbelievably hot, I definitely didn't want to serve anything heavy. So the tart fit the bill perfectly.
I paired it with a lovely salad of baby greens with sliced plums, pomegranate seeds and an orange vinegarette. I also served some crusty bread, paper thin slices of asiago and genoa salami to munch on.
My friend had found some recommendations for wine in Cooking Light and brought over a bottle of St. Supéry Moscato (98pts /Best in Class - Gold). The wonderful peach and apricot notes were a wonderful compliment to the plums, oranges and pomegranate of the salad. The slight sweetness balanced the saltiness from the pancetta on the tart.
ASPARAGUS TOMATO PANCETTA TART
1 sheet puff pastry
6-8 asparagus spears
3 small roma tomatoes, sliced
1/4 cp purple onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cp chopped pancetta
3 oz. goat cheese
2 tbs rosemary, finely chopped
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
handful of arugula
grated Parmesan cheese
1. Leave sheet out covered with a dish towel to defrost for 40 min. While it's thawing, heat a skillet, add a little olive oil and sauté onions. Add pancetta and garlic. Brown. Remove from pan and let drain on paper towels.
2. Preheat oven to 400º. Bake the puff pastry for 9 minutes. When done, remove from oven and reduce oven temperature to 350º.
3. Slice tomatoes, place in a bowl and drizzle a little olive oil over them. Sprinkle with a little kosher salt and a pinch of the rosemary. Set aside.
4. Lay the asparagus spears out on some wax paper. Drizzle or mist a little olive oil over them. Sprinkle with a little kosher salt and a pinch of the rosemary. Grasp both ends of the wax paper and roll the asparagus back and forth to coat well. Set aside.
5. In a small bowl, whisk the goat cheese with the egg. Add the rest of the rosemary. Evenly spread the goat cheese mixture over the baked puff pastry. Sprinkle the pancetta and onion mixture over the top. Neatly place the tomatoes in rows across the pastry. Repeat with the asparagus spears. Bake for 14 minutes or until the asparagus is done to your liking (I like mine al dente so 14 minutes was perfect).
6. Sprinkle with Parmesan and top with some arugula leaves.
Serves 2 as an entré or 4 as a side dish.
BABY GREENS WITH PLUMS
For the vinegarette
1/4 cp orange juice
1/4 cp red raspberry vinegar
3 count pour of olive oil
2 tbs red onion, minced
1 tsp honey
pinch of kosher salt
1 small plum of your choice per person
Whisk together all the ingredients for the vinegarette. Assemble the salad on individual salad plates: first the baby greens, then the sliced plums, sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds, then crumble the goat cheese over each plate. Drizzle the vinegarette over the assembled salads.
YOUR TURN: What do you crave when the weather turns warm?