When I think of springtime, I think of the color green: of fresh new buds poking up through the soil, and leaves unfurling.
This tart tastes like springtime in my mouth, complete with the brightness of lemon zest, the crispy crunchy pastry, creamy herby cheese, and fresh green vegetables.
It really shouldn’t require any measurements. This is a “throw whatever is fresh on puff pastry with cheese” kind of recipe, so these are more guidelines than instructions. The trick is just two techniques: pre-bake your puff pastry so it stays fluffy and crispy, also blanch your vegetables so they don’t require a lot of cooking time.
- 1 piece of puff pastry. I like the pre-rolled kind, but any will do.
- 1 zucchini, sliced into ribbons using a vegetable peeler or mandolin. I used a little yellow zucchini because it’s pretty.
- 5 spears of asparagus sliced into thin diagonals. You could also use green peas as an alternative
- Zest of 1 lemon
- ½ container of cream cheese. (Approx. 4 oz or 113 g)
- 1 diced green onion. Chives would also work.
- 1 tsp of basil or dill. Fresh herbs would be nice, but dried is completely fine.
- (Optional) feta cheese to crumble over top. I highly recommend it, but if you don’t have any on hand, save 2 tablespoons of the cream cheese mixture to use instead.
- Preheat your oven to 380 F / 200 C.
- Roll out your puff pastry and prick it all over. You can split it in half like I did, because I like crust, but you can also make one family sized serving.
- Bake your puff pastry for 20 minutes on a parchment lined sheet, covered with another piece of parchment so it doesn’t burn.
- While the puff pastry is cooking, sauté the green onion with oil until softened.
- Mix the green onion with your cream cheese, herbs, and half the lemon zest.
- Blanch your asparagus and zucchini in boiling water for 10 seconds, then rinse with cold water to stop cooking. Let it drain and pat with a paper towel, so it isn’t soaking wet.
- When the puff pastry is done, spread the cream cheese topping, leaving a 1-inch border around the edges.
- Top with curls of zucchini, asparagus slivers, and feta / extra cream cheese mix.
- Drizzle lightly with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
- Return to the oven to broil for 5 minutes, or until the edges are slightly browned.
- Garnish with remaining lemon zest, green onion, or fresh herbs.
What flavors make you think of spring?
I promised my mother I would never come to Bato-Ko…and yet here I am.
Narra Jal is one of the cursed, cast aside her whole life, considered unlucky. But with her mother’s life on the line, she will return to the city where she was born to face the trials: a grueling, bloodthirsty series of challenges designed to weed out the weak, the greedy, and the foolish. Trials to select the next ruler of Tigang.
Narra has nothing. No weapons. No training. No magic. No real chance of leaving with her life. Just her fierce grit and a refusal to accept the destiny she’s been handed. Even the intense, dark-eyed Guardian she feels a strangely electric connection with cannot help her. Narra is on her own. But she’ll show everyone what the unlucky can do.
Let the bloodbath begin.
Tessa Barbosa is a Filipina-Canadian author who writes fantasy novels by night, and software help by day. She studied computer science and the fine arts in university, but stories were her first love, and she’s thrilled she gets to write them now. Tessa currently lives in Vancouver with her family and when she’s not at the keyboard, you can find her reading, making messes in the kitchen, or sewing things. Find out more at tessabarbosa.com
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