Asparagus Puffs are a continuation of my spring appetizer theme, along with Cajun Crab Cakes, and Cucumber Radish Crostini. These tasty little bites are all about spring, and they make a great addition to a brunch or lunch, or, how about a Spring Themed Wine & Appy Party?
Asparagus Puffs for Spring Entertaining
Asparagus is all about spring, We can't seem to get enough asparagus at this time of year when this veggie it's at its finest. We've been eating a lot of asparagus, in lots of different ways. A great example is this Creamy Asparagus Soup, which only whetted our appetite for more of this delicious springtime 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, will take 2-3 years to be productive, but then, they will 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 the hardening of the arteries.
You can broil, boil, steam, grill, or roast asparagus, and it will be delicious in every way. However, the important thing to remember is to never, ever, overcook it. You should always cook asparagus just to tender-crisp. It doesn't require a long cooking time. If overcooked, asparagus becomes mushy and loses that bright green colour.
Puff Pastry 101
Making Puff Pastry is a laborious process where there are many layers of thin pastry, each layer built with pats of butter between them. Then you roll out the dough, fold it, and leave it to rest, and repeat the whole process six to eight 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. Finally, if you really want to make your own puff pastry, you can. Here's how: How To Make Puff Pastry.
While you have the puff pastry unthawed for these asparagus puffs, you may also want to try Mushroom Brie Puffs, too.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 shallot minced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- ½ cup asparagus chopped
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- ½ cup peas fresh or thawed frozen
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- ¼ 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 24 cavity non stick mini muffin tin, or one sprayed with cooking spray
- Heat oven to 400°
- Heat oil in a 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.