Spring is here, and the promise of longer, warmer evenings has us dreaming of al fresco dinner parties with friends. We’re also eyeing the seasonal produce that’s beginning to appear in our local markets. Eating seasonally offers a wealth of benefits, from higher nutritional value to price but, most importantly, delicate ingredients like fruits and vegetables taste best when bought in season. These 5 easy appetizer recipes show off the best spring produce and will impress your guests.
5.) Asparagus Gruyere Tart
If there’s a god of dinner parties, we have to thank them for frozen puff pastry! This spring tart recipe from Martha Stewart is easy to throw together and is also so pretty to look at that you’ll feel like a professional.
Flour, for work surface
1 sheet frozen puff pastry
5 1/2 ounces (2 cups) Gruyere cheese, shredded
1 1/2 pounds medium or thick asparagus
1 tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper
Pizza cutter (optional)
- Thaw your pastry in the refrigerator overnight.
- Flour your surface. Roll the puff pastry out into a rectangle approximately 16 inches by 10 inches. Be sparing with the rolling pin, too much pressure will ruin the pastry.
- Return your pastry to the fridge while you preheat oven to 400 F degrees.
- Line your baking tray with baking paper and place the pastry on top. Using a knife, score a rectangle border roughly 1 inch in from the edge of the pastry. Pierce the inside of the rectangle all over with a fork.
- Bake the pastry for 15 minutes or until golden. Don’t over cook, it’ll be going back in the oven later.
- Remove from the oven and sprinkle with cheese.
- Cut asparagus to equal lengths, so they fit in a straight line along the tart. Brush over with a layer of oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until the asparagus is tender.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Cut into slices with a knife or pizza cutter.
Tip: For an even more eye-catching appetizer, alternate green, white and purple asparagus. Top each portion with a small slice of prosciutto for a more luxurious treat.