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Asparagus and Walnut Puffs

Asparagus and Walnut PuffsRecipe courtesy of Walnut Marketing Board.

Recipe Ingredients:

1 (9 to 10-inch square and 1/4-inch thick) sheet puff pastry, thawed if frozen
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
3/4 cup finely chopped California walnuts
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
16 to 24 asparagus spears (2 or 3 per puff, depending on size)*
2 tablespoons walnut oil

Cooking Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat; set aside.
  2. Place the puff pastry sheet on your work surface. Cut it in half, then cut each half into 4 strips, each about 2 in. wide. Place the strips on the prepared baking sheet. If the pastry has become soft, refrigerate for about 15 min. before continuing.
  3. In a medium bowl combine the ricotta, Parmesan, basil, walnuts, salt and pepper, and stir until well mixed.
  4. Spread about 3 tablespoons of cheese mixture over each pastry strip, spreading it almost to the edge. Press two or three asparagus spears into each cheese-topped strip (the thickness of the asparagus will determine how many spears are needed for each pastry). Drizzle with walnut oil.
  5. Bake until pastry is puffed and golden and the asparagus is tender, about 25 minutes.

Makes 8 large puffs, or 8 servings.

*Use only the tender asparagus tips, about the top 4 inches from each spear, for this recipe. For variety, use a combination of green and white asparagus.

Nutritional Information Per Serving (1/8 of recipe): Calories: 370; Total Fat: 28g; Saturated Fat: 6g; Cholesterol: 20mg; Total Carbs: 19g; Fiber: 2g; Protein: 12g; Sodium: 270mg.

Recipe and photograph courtesy of Walnut Marketing Board.