Asparagus pea tarts start with puff pastry squares and have a flavorful ricotta cheese base. They’re topped with bright spring vegetables: asparagus and peas. A quick and easy recipe for brunch or an elegant appetizer.
This post was originally published in May 2017. The photos and text were updated in April 2020 for clarity.
We’re all in need of an elegant but easy-to-make appetizer/brunch recipe right about now, am I right?
While we might not be able to socialize with our friends over mimosas and tarts right now, that doesn’t mean we don’t get to have any vegetarian brunch fun at home.
I’m talking about an all-day-long PJ party. Bottomless mimosas, because, let’s be honest, we have nowhere to go. Coffee to balance it out. Maybe some fancy music playing in the background because these fancy feeling tarts are fancy-music-worthy.
All that AND you can make asparagus ricotta tarts using simple ingredients.
There’s no homemade tart dough here (that requires flour, and we all know what that looks like right about now) and you can customize it based on the veggies you have in your fridge.
But for your sake, I really hope you have some in-season asparagus because it feels like an extra special treat.
Who am I? I just said asparagus was an extra special treat. Maybe this current situation has led me to lack some veggies in my life… TBD. But for real: fresh asparagus makes these spring tarts feel so – springy and fresh!
Spring Tart Ingredients
We’ve got the winning trifecta here, friends.
Asparagus (as mentioned) – check.
Peas – check.
Ricotta (with bright lemon juice and lemon zest, garlic, and parmesan) – check.
Then there’s the fresh mint (check!) which takes the fresh level to the highest.
And we can’t forget the thing that holds it all together. The easiest tart base you can have: puff pastry.
You know I love making every bit of a recipe from scratch most of the time. But there are those occasions when you just need to use frozen pastry dough and THAT IS OK, MY FRIENDS.
We are here for it. Here for the simplicity that is these tarts. Here for getting by, here for making being stuck inside at home more elegant. Because you deserve it!
How to Make Asparagus Puff Pastry Tarts
Start by thawing out the puff pastry dough. Once it’s pliable, cut down along the folded edges (this just makes for easy lines); then cut each long strip in half, creating 6 pieces.
Next, score each piece of puff pastry dough by gently running a knife in a rectangle, about 1/2 inch in from the edge of the dough, pressing only about halfway through the dough. Do not cut all the way through. This will allow the pastry to puff up around our filling.
Fill the center of each tart with your ricotta mixture. In it we have: ricotta, lemon juice and zest (hiii brightness!), shallot, garlic, and parmesan. Talk. About. Flavor.
Top it with your peas (fresh or frozen) and asparagus spears that have been lightly tossed with olive oil. I recommend cutting the spears to the size of your pastry dough.
To get the extra golden edges, brush them with an egg was before baking. Bake them up and serve warm or room temperature.
If you want to pair the savory bright flavors with a little balance of sweet, go ahead and drizzle on your favorite honey. It adds a fun sweet and savory component to the tarts.
There you have it! When I said easy, I meant easy.
These tarts not only make an elegant brunch item – they’re begging to be on bridal shower menus, baby shower menus, and Mother’s Day menus. You know, when we can safely participate in those gatherings again. 😉
They’re light, savory, and feel like a special indulgence with all of their puff pastry goodness. And it must be said again the are so perfectly paired with a mimosa or two.
Helpful Equipment for Pea and Asparagus Tarts
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More Spring Vegetarian Recipes
- Ricotta, Asparagus and Pea Pasta
- Bright Spring Vegetable Salad
- Easy Spring Vegetable Fusilli
- Spring Vegetable Risotto
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!
Asparagus Pea Tart
- 1 cup whole milk ricotta
- 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice, ~1/2 lemon
- ¼ teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 Tablespoon fresh mint, finely chopped
- 1 Tablespoon shallot, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese*, shredded
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- Dash red pepper flakes, optional
- 1 ready-to-bake Puff Pastry Sheet*
- ½ cup frozen peas, thawed
- 1 bunch asparagus, approximately 3 inches long
- Drizzle olive oil
- 1 egg + 1 teaspoon water, whisked, optional egg wash
- Drizzle honey, optional
- Pre-heat oven to 400°F and grease or line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine ricotta, lemon juice, and zest, mint, shallot, garlic, parmesan cheese. Add red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper, and adjust for taste as needed.
- Cut the puff pastry sheet into 6 equal rectangles; use the natural folds in the sheet to cut lengthwise, and then cut each long strip in half. Score each pastry by cutting a rectangle about ½ inch in from the edge of the pastry, only cutting about halfway through each piece of dough. Be careful to not cut all the way through.
- Toss the asparagus with a drizzle of oil and set aside. Spread 1 to 1 ½ tablespoons of the ricotta mixture in the middle of the puff pastry square, inside the smaller rectangle you scored. This will leave about the ½ inch edge. Place about 2 teaspoons of peas on each pastry on top of the ricotta, and top with 3 asparagus spears on each puff.
- Brush edges of each pastry with egg wash, if using. Bake for 20 minutes until puffs have risen and are golden brown. Remove and serve immediately warm, or at room temperature. Drizzle with honey, if using.
- If you have two puff pastry sheets, you can make an additional 3-4 tarts with the remaining pastry sheet. I like to add more ricotta filling to the 6 from the original batch and save the whole remaining sheet.
- *Look for cheese specifically labeled vegetarian, if needed.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided for this recipe is only an estimate. The accuracy of the facts listed is not and cannot be guaranteed.