Thursday, April 7, 2011

Creamy Asparagus Puffs

Creamy Asparagus Puffs 1

Are you an asparagus lover?

I am.

I ask that question because I think asparagus is one of those foods like coconut, or Brussel sprouts, turnips, liver or even avocado. To me, those are foods that a lot of people dislike.

I can't even remember if I always loved it. I don't have any memories of eating it when I was younger. It was one vegetable that really wasn't served too much at my house. My Mom is not a big fan, so I'm sure that's why it didn't grace the table much.

Creamy Asparagus Puffs 2

I wait every spring for asparagus season to start and for the long thin spears to go on sale so I can buy pounds and pounds of it.

I swear I go through withdrawal every winter. That's when I have to resort to Trader Joe's frozen asparagus. It's really not too bad in a pinch, but nothing compares to the fresh stuff.

My favorite way to eat it is roasted in the oven with some lemon, spice and olive oil. I can eat a whole pound by myself. No word of a lie. Sometimes I grill it, I love it that way too. Sometimes I chop it up into a salad, or throw it in an omelet.

I love, love, love it. It may be my favorite veggie.

After these came out of the oven...I have to admit...I may have a new favorite way to eat it.

Creamy Asparagus Puffs

I adapted this recipe from one I saw in Taste of Home magazine. I was thrilled when I saw that it was combined with puff pastry. Genius! I made a few tweaks it to and I have to say...it is insanely delicious. I'm talking, run to the rooftops and shout it out loud delicious.

The center is creamy and tangy and the asparagus roasts up just perfect, just a wee bit of a crunch to it, and I love how the ends puff up, almost like a little boat. So cute.

I was testing this recipe out to be an Easter appetizer.

It passed - with flying colors!

Creamy Asparagus Puffs
adapted from a recipe in Taste of Home
1 package (8oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil
2 sheets (1 package) frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 lb fresh asparagus, trimmed
olive oil for drizzling
shaved cheese for topping (I used pecorino and asiago)

Oven to 400.

In a small bowl combine the cream cheese, grated Parmesan, lemon juice, parsley & basil.

Line a baking sheet with parchment. Unfold the pastry and fold it in half. Cut the folded piece in half so you have 4 quartered rectangles. Place slightly apart on a baking sheet. Spread the cream cheese mixture to within a 1/2 inch of the edge. Trim the asparagus spears to 1 1/2 inches shorter than the pastry. Press the spears onto the pastry alternating directions. Drizzle with oil. Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry.

Bake for 18 - 22 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle with shaved cheese of your choice. Slice into thirds and serve warm.
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