I felt that it needed something, however, and I did not like the visual “blobs” of the ricotta. Plus, frozen puff pastry comes in boxes of two sheets, and who am I to waste a perfectly good sheet of puff pastry? For the second version I layered the mustard, then the ricotta, then the asparagus. I sprinkled on a little salt and ground white pepper and baked this up until nicely browned. Then, instead of the fresh tarragon, I sprinkled the finished tart with some fine strips of fresh grapefruit zest. Why grapefruit? Because we were out of lemons. Having said that, the grapefruit zest added a really nice, slightly sweet citrus burst to the final version. It was a winner. You will note that for this one I left the short ends of the pastry open, for a longer, more rectangular shape.
Here’s the recipe for the second version:
Asparagus and Ricotta Tart
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed according to package directions
3 tablespoons Lemon Tarragon mustard
1/2 cup ricotta cheese (I used the whole milk type)
12-14 spears fresh asparagus, rinsed and trimmed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
freshly grated grapefruit or lemon zest (about a teaspoon)
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Unfold the pastry sheet onto an ungreased cookie sheet and trim the edges as desired–for the second version I simply cut about an inch off of the two long edges and placed them on the top edges to form a “wall.”
Spread the mustard over the base of the pastry, and top with dollops of the ricotta cheese. Press the asparagus spears into the cheese in a pretty pattern. Sprinkle with salt and white pepper, and bake for 25-35 minutes (at altitude this took 25), or until the edges of the pastry are golden and the mustard has started to develop that nice caramelized color at the ends. Remove from heat and cool for a few minutes, then slide a knife under the base to loosen the tart. Slide the tart onto a serving plate and sprinkle with the fresh citrus zest. Serves eight as an appetizer tart, or four as a light brunch.
Thanks for reading,