[in full Oprah voice] AAASPAAARAAAGAAAS!!!
Such a tricky thing to grow and this season, the weather has been making it particularly tricky for Don the asparagus man out at Cooma. He brings it to the SAGE Farmers Market when it’s on, so I make sure he puts enough in the van for LocalTable when he comes to town.
If you’ve eaten asparagus from a supermarket lately, then you will be blown away by the difference between those tasteless, hard, chewy things and these tender spears of heaven. My tippity-top favourite way to eat them is lightly sautéed in butter with lemon juice, pepper and parmesan, but these tarts with caramelised red onion that Kat made are real contenders for the top spot.
Cheese, caramelised onion & asparagus tartsPrint This
- 3 red onions, sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 to 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 250g ricotta cheese
- 100g fetta cheese
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon lemon rind, grated
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 2 sheets puff pastry
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
First, get those onions caramelising. Use up the bottom half of the asparagus spears by slicing them thinly and caramelising them with the onion.
- Heat your favourite small frying pan over a low heat and pour in the oil.
- Add the onions and sliced asparagus bottoms with a good pinch of salt and cook very slowly for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent them from sticking to the pan. This must be done slowly over a low heat!
- When the onions are soft, add the sugar and balsamic. Continue to cook over a low heat for a further 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sticky and caramelised.
- Remove from the heat and let cool (stick it in the freezer if you’re in a rush).
Now make the tarts.
- Preheat the oven to 220ºC and line two trays with baking paper, lightly greased with oil or butter.
- Combine the cheeses, parsley, and lemon rind in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
- Cut each pastry sheet in half and place the 4 sections on the lined trays. Score a 1cm border around each sheet (don’t cut all the way through).
- Divide the caramelised onion mixture between the pastry sheets and spread to the scored lines. Repeat with the cheese mixture and arrange the asparagus tops on top.
- Brush some melted butter around the pastry edges and bake for around 15 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool slightly before removing from baking paper.