Thursday, April 7, 2022

Spring vegetable puff pastry tart

This is a sponsored post by Challenge, but the text and opinions are all mine. Thank you for supporting brands that make Kylee's Kitchen possible! 

It’s finally that time of year! The heat is off, the windows are open, the flowers are blooming, and it’s snowing… It’s nature’s cruel April Fools’ Day joke on us all. You never know what you’re going to get when it comes to spring in Indiana!

One of my favorite parts about spring is the return of fresh, local produce. I turn my attention away from rich, hearty stews and instead focus on easy, breezy recipes. 

The dish I’m sharing with you all today is less of a recipe and more of a concept. I’m showcasing spring produce, like asparagus, peas, and radishes, on a puff pastry tart. But you could just as easily swap it our for your favorite fresh produce or whatever is in season. Also, instead of puff pastry, you could put it on pizza or flatbread.

A lot of people like to bake the vegetables with the puff pastry, but I think spring vegetables are delicious eaten raw. In fact, I love the crunch. But I recommend blanching the vegetables beforehand. Blanching brighten and enhances vegetables’ natural colors.



In order to blanch, prepare a pot of boiling water and an ice bath. Plunge the vegetables into the boiling water for about 30 seconds and then move the vegetables to the ice bath. Once the vegetables are cool, dry them off.

You an use any type of schmear or spread for this tart. I made whipped feta with Challenge cream cheese, lots of mint and parsley, garlic, lemon juice, and lemon zest. I whipped it all up in the food processor, so it was super easy. I only use Challenge cream cheese when I’m cooking and baking. Challenge cream cheese is made with real milk, cream, and other natural ingredients. You can definitely taste a difference.

When I'm creating a dish, I try my best to balance textures and the five basic tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami. If everything is salty or umami, the dish will taste flat and unexciting. The same thing goes for texture. It's boring if everything is soft (like baked puff pastry with baked asparagus and melted cheese). So for this tart, the peas are sweet, the lemon juice and zest are sour, the feta is salty, the radishes are a little bitter, and the prosciutto has umami flavor. I also combined soft puff pastry with creamy spread and crunchy vegetables for a variety of textures.

If you plan to serve this tart as an appetizer for a special occasion, I recommend making it on the same day. But I will say the leftovers taste just as good the next day.



Spring vegetable puff pastry tart

Yield: 8 servings

Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

For the whipped feta spread

  • 1/4 cup mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup parsley leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 8-ounce block feta cheese
  • 4 ounces Challenge cream cheese
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Juice from 1 lemon (3 Tablespoons)
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

For the tart

  • 1 sheet puff pastry
  • 6 ounces thin asparagus, trimmed and blanched
  • 4 ounces peas, shelled and blanched
  • 4 radishes, sliced thin
  • 2 ounces prosciutto, cut into pieces
  • 0.5 ounces chives, chopped and blanched
  • Egg wash (1 egg + 1 Tablespoon water)

Directions

For the whipped feta spread

  1. Pulse mint, parsley, and garlic in food processor until finely chopped. 
  2. Add feta and cream cheese to food processor and puree until creamy.
  3. Add olive oil, lemon juice, and lemon zest, and puree until smooth. Whipped feta should be spreadable consistency. If not, add 1 Tablespoon more olive oil at a time until it is.
  4. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary.

For the tart

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Roll out puff pastry dough onto baking sheet.
  3. Score 1-inch border around dough, making sure not to cut all the way through.
  4. Use fork to create holes in dough inside perimeter.
  5. Brush entire sheet with egg wash.
  6. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until puff pastry is golden brown.
  7. Allow puff pastry to cool for at least 10 minutes before spreading whipped feta inside perimeter.
  8. Arrange asparagus in center of puff pastry.
  9. Sprinkle peas and radishes inside the gaps.
  10. Scatter prosciutto pieces across tart and top with chives.
  11. Cut into pieces and serve.


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