ASPARAGUS & GARLIC ROULE PUFF PASTRY SQUARE
Bundles of fresh green asparagus tips always reminds me of the British Summer and my first visit to Borough Market. My inspiration for this recipe: my French friend Josselin who introduced me to the wonderful world of French cheeses, and my husband Marco who absolutely loves any form of pastry.
This recipe is so versatile and really easy to make. You could make your own puff pastry if you have the time and patience.
- 375g puff pastry, (one ready rolled sheet)
- ceramic baking beans or dried beans or rice grains
- foil or greaseproof paper (to fit in baking tray)
- baking tray (35cm x 25cm x 2cm)
- 300g fresh asparagus tips, rinsed
- 150g French garlic Roule
- Olive oil
- ½ a lemon
- black pepper
- coarse sea salt
- 100g Feta cheese
- fresh lemon thyme
- coarse sea salt
- seed mix or roasted crushed walnuts
Easy to prepare (45 min)
Preheat your oven to 190 °C / 170 °C Fan / gas 5.
Place the flat sheet of puff pastry on the baking tray. Press the sides upward to form a small edge. Prick the pastry sheet with a fork. Place foil or greaseproof paper on top of uncooked pastry sheet. Place ceramic baking beans (or alternative) on top of foil/paper. Pop the pastry in the warm oven covered in foil/paper filled with beans for 10 minutes.
Remove the foil and ceramic beans from the pastry top after baking for 10 minutes. Bake the pastry for another 10 – 15 minutes until light brown and cooked throughout. A telltale sign that it’s ready is that the pastry square will start to pull away from the baking tray.
While the pastry is baking, fill a kettle with water and boil it. Place asparagus tips in a container and pour boiling hot water over them. Leave them in the boiling hot water for 5 – 10 minutes. Check that the asparagus is ‘al dente’ after 5 minutes: the stems still need to be firm but somewhat softer. Rinse with cold water and drizzle them with olive oil and a lemon squeeze. Add a sprinkle of coarse salt and black pepper.
To assemble, spread the garlic Roule cheese onto the baked pastry sheet. At this stage you could add extra chopped garlic, chili or fresh herbs. Arrange the asparagus tips on top of the Roule cheese. Crumble the Feta cheese over the asparagus. Drizzle the topping with olive oil and place in the oven for a further 15 – 20 minutes until asparagus tips have roasted slightly.
For garnish, sprinkle filling with freshly chopped lemon thyme, coarse sea salt and/or a mixture of seeds or roasted chopped walnuts.
Cut into squares and serve as a main course with a fresh salad or as a side dish. Leftovers are also great cut into fingers and served with wine as a snack.
- Decrease the amount of asparagus tips and add thinly sliced fresh mushrooms and/or grated courgettes to the filling before you bake the pastry.
- Replace the French Roule with green pesto or tapenade.
- Use mozzarella balls instead of feta cheese.
- The French Roule could be replaced with cream cheese, adding a clove of finely chopped garlic toit.