Another warm day, and cooking on the BBQ seems like a good idea. It is quite easy to cook these asparagus pastries in a covered BBQ. But it does need good quality asparagus – stringy stalks spoil the experience. You can, of course, cook these in the oven as well, at about 200C.
Here they are cooking in the BBQ – the cheese is melting well.
Asparagus in Pastry with Cream and Fresh Pecarino
Source: adapted from Nigel Slater’s Kitchen Diaries II
Prep time: 10 mins (if you buy your pastry. Otherwise add pastry making time.)
Cooking time: 20 mins
Serves: 4 – 5 people, great as a starter/entree
10 spears good quality asparagus
375g puff pastry
100ml double cream or creme fraiche
50g grated parmesan cheese
small slices of fresh pecorino, cut into strips (optional)
The grated rind of 1 lemon
Some chopped parsley (optional)
Prepare your BBQ with a flat surface tray to cook the pastries on. I used the breakfast tray of the Weber Q sitting on the roasting rack to raise it just a little above the grill surface.
Defrost the pastry if necessary.
Steam the asparagus until tender – test by sliding the point of a knife into the stem. Drain and set them aside.
Mix the grated lemon rind with the chopped parsley, and set aside.
While I made pastries the length of the asparagus stems, it was a little difficult transferring them to the BBQ. I suggest cutting the asparagus in two and making shorter pastries. This way you will have 10 individual pastries.
Cut the pastry on a floured board in strips that will accommodate the cut asparagus, leaving enough room around the edges to crimp them a little. The crimping raises the edges just a little to accommodate the cream and cheese.
Place a little cream in the base of each piece of pastry and scatter some of the grated parmesan. Place the asparagus spears on top of the cream. Add a touch more cream and parmesan on top of the spears and top with the cubes of fresh pecorino (if using).
Transfer to the hot BBQ and cook with the BBQ cover closed for 15 – 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted, the pastry cooked and the filling is golden brown in places.
Open a bottle of wine.
When they are cooked, transfer them to a plate and scatter with the parsley and lemon rind mix. Serve immediately.