RECIPE: Asparagus Over Cheesy Puff Pastry and Say 'I Love You' to Brunching!


I love brunch. I love eating it. I love serving it. I love choosing it as an entertaining option when you have a busy group to plan around. Everyone can make brunch time work. It can be late enough to accommodate church services (or a hangover, depending), and early enough to not interfere with a lot of other weekend plans you may have (dance recitals, sports games, parent visits, etc). And the food options can be so fun and varied because you can play in the breakfast sandbox and the lunch sandbox at the same time. So many options to cook and enjoy!

This 'yummy' is easy to make and adds a vegetable to the brunch course in a creative way. Have fun with the ricotta layer by adding various cheeses or spices. You can move this to a Mediterranean slant by adding feta and olives and using spinach instead of asparagus, or go spicy with it! Puff pastry is such a versatile thing to use, you should always have a box in the freezer for emergencies. They can make mini pie or quiche shells in a pinch. You can fill, cut, shape, roll and bake it to your heart's content.

One final note on this recipe. If you can't find the thin asparagus and are left with thick ones, you may want to blanch them for 5 minutes in boiling water to get them started. That way they are not tough when served. The dish only takes 20-25 minutes to bake, and that may not be enough for thicker asparagus.

It's the weekend people, and the weather stinks for most of us. SO get brunching! Bake up some happy!

Asparagus Over Cheesy Puff Pastry 

Ingredients:

One sheet of puff pastry, defrosted and rolled out to 9.5" x 13 
1 14 1/2 oz. tub of ricotta cheese 
1/4 cups of chopped parsley 
2 tablespoons of half-and-half (or milk)
1 teaspoon of garlic powder 
1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt, divided 
fresh ground pepper
3 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil 
1 1/2 pounds of asparagus, trimmed to 6 1/2 inches 
1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese 
1 teaspoon of fresh thyme, chopped finely 
1 tablespoon of finely chopped basil 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°. In a small bowl stir the ricotta, 1/8 cup parmesan cheese, parsley, basil, half and half, thyme, garlic and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Mix well and set aside.

Place rolled out puff pastry on a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush pastry with 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil. Spread the ricotta on the dough evenly, leaving 1/2 inch border. Arrange the asparagus flat, evenly in one layer on top of the ricotta. Brush with 2 tablespoons remaining olive oil. Top with 1/4 teaspoon of salt, fresh ground pepper and 1/8 th of a cup of remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes until puffy and golden, and asparagus is caramelized. Drizzle extra olive oil before serving and cut into warm squares.

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