I am not entertaining for Easter this year. As it is, I am going to be rather entertained instead and enjoy myself very much. However, if I were entertaining, I would most definitely be making these Asparagus Ricotta Tarts with Honey Lemon Sauce because they are some of the prettiest, tastiest, easiest little things.
I have been putting all the fresh spring asparagus, those thin tender green stalks that are perfectly delicious right now, to good use in these tarts. They are ideal for entertaining because they are low effort but look and taste like something special. They are also ideal for quiet, spring afternoons in which the weather is a little bit warmer, the sun a little bit sunnier, and I just want something tasty to snack on while I sit by the window and enjoy all that sunshine.
At some point during all the window-side sun basking I’ve been doing, I determined that the only thing all this delicious asparagus needed was a sunshiny Honey Lemon Sauce to brighten and sweeten just a bit. So butter and honey and lemon juice went into a pot and I’m still thanking the sun for that little inspiration – such a bright and tasty sauce, and just the thing for Spring and asparagus as luck would have it.
And though I won’t really miss entertaining this year and I’m looking forward to my own adventure this week, I just caught a glimpse of Aimee’s Simple Entertaining: Build a Bagel Bar article over on Simple Bites and I’m very inspired – so inspired that I don’t think I’ll be waiting for next Easter, or for a holiday at all, to get bagel baking and invite a few people over to share. Doesn’t it just sound perfect?
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry (14 oz) thawed according to package instructions
- 1 pound of asparagus, washed and trimmed (thin, tender asparagus works best)
- ¾ cup ricotta cheese
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup water
- ½ tablespoon corn starch
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- dash of salt
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, combine the ricotta and Parmesan and stir well.
- Cut pastry into six 4.25 inch squares and place on prepared baking sheet. Prick each square with a fork. Spoon the ricotta-Parmesan mixture onto each square and spread it, leaving a ½ inch border. Arrange the asparagus over the top of the cheese, trimming each stalk to fit and alternating top to bottom. Repeat for each tart. Drizzle the olive oil evenly over the top of the tarts and sprinkle with freshly ground pepper.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, or until the pastry is puffed and golden and the asparagus is tender. Serve warm, just out of the oven. Drizzle with honey lemon sauce just before serving.
- In a small sauce pan, dissolve the corn starch in the water. Add in the remaining ingredients and heat over medium heat until mixture begins to simmer and thicken. Stir constantly for about 1 minute and then remove from heat.