Asparagus Puffs are a continuation of my spring appetizer theme. These tasty little bites are all about spring, and they make a great addition to a brunch or lunch, or, how about an appy party with a spring theme?
Spring, It’s Here at Last
Asparagus is all about spring, We can’t seem to get enough asparagus at this time of year, when this veggie it’s at it’s finest. We’ve been eating a lot of asparagus, in lots of different ways. A great example is this Creamy Asparagus Soup, which only wet our appetite for more of this delicious spring time veggie.
Asparagus is a member of the lily family of plants. It’s origins have been traced back to 2000 years, where it was, and still is, grown in the Mediterranean. The Asparagus plant grows from crowns, which are one year old plants. The crowns, once planted, can take 2-3 years to be productive, but then, can produce for 20 years. So if you want to grow asparagus, you need to have a lot of patience.
Asparagus is a nutrition powerhouse that packs a ton of goodness, like folate, Vitamins K ,A, C, as well as potassium, Iron, & Fiber. Vitamin K, an often overlooked vitamin, is found in studies to improve bone health by increasing bone mineral density. Vitamin K is also important to heart health, helping to prevent hardening of the arteries.
You can broil, boil, steam, grill, or roast asparagus, and it will be delicious in every way. The important thing to remember is to never, ever, over cook it. Asparagus should always be cooked to tender crisp. It doesn’t require a long cooking time. If over cooked, asparagus becomes mushy and loses that bright green colour.
Puff Pastry 101
Puff Pastry is made by a laborious process where there are many layers of thin pastry, each layer built with pats of butter between them. The dough is then rolled out, folded, left to rest, and the whole process is repeated 6-8 times. Luckily, we can buy puff pastry where someone else has done all this work. I am usually a fan of making everything from scratch, but I draw a line at puff pastry. Look for a frozen puff pastry that uses real butter if possible. If you really want to make your own puff pastry, you can. Here’s how:How To Make Puff Pastry.
How to Make Asparagus Puffs
Asparagus, spring peas, and fresh herbs are a taste of spring combined in convenient puff pastry packages for a perfect spring time appetizer.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 shallot minced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/2 cup asparagus chopped
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/2 cup peas fresh or thawed frozen
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese grated
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tbsp fresh dill chopped
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry thawed
- 2 tbsp butter melted
Have ready a non stick mini muffin tin, or one sprayed with cooking spray
Heat oven to 400°
Heat oil in skillet over medium high.
Add 1 tbsp butter, the shallots, garlic, and asparagus. Saute until asparagus is tender crisp, about 3 minutes
Remove from heat and stir in salt, pepper, peas, lemon juice and zest, thyme and dill.
Cut puff pastry sheet into 24 2.5 " squares
Line each muffin tin cup with a puff pastry square, pressing into the base of each cup.
Stir the grated Parmesan cheese into the asparagus mixture.
Evenly divide the asparagus mixture into each cup.
Bring the four corners of the pastry squares together to cover the filling for each
Brush tops with melted butter. Bake until puffed and golden about 15 minutes.
Cool on a rack for 10 minutes before removing the puffs to a platter. Serve warm or at room temperature.