I can feel the spring in Pantelleria approaching. One of the lovely things with spring is the wild asparagus. Yesterday we went looking for them and found plenty- enough to make a big tray of these asparagus parmesan cheese canapés. This recipe is original from a cookbook ” Snittar” which in English means “Canapés”. My dear companion and friend Hedvig von Mentzer and I created and published this book in Sweden in 2003. Today it’s International Women’s Day. What could be a better occasion to invite friends for some Prosecco and canapés?
Let’s toast and acknowledge women all over the globe.
Asparagus and parmesan cream canapés
Makes about 30 canapés
10 oz (275 grams) refrigerated puff pastry sheets
1 egg (to brush the puff pastry with)
1 Tablespoon water
6 oz (170 grams) grated Parmesan cheese
1 clove of garlic
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup (1.2 dl) white wine
3/4 cups (1.8 dl) heavy cream
2 sprigs of thyme crushed
Salt and grounded white pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 F (200C) degrees.
Cut the sheet of puff pastry into 2 inch squares (bite sized).
Place the squares on a non stick baking sheet and on to the oven trays.
Whisk the egg and 2 Tablespoons of water together in a bowl, then, brush the top of each puff pastry square. Bake the squares in the oven for about 8-10 min. They should puff and be golden brown.
Remove from the oven and tray to a plate and allow them to cool to the touch.
Grate the Parmesan cheese. Finely chop the shallots and garlic.
Heat a saute pan, add olive oil then the chopped shallots and garlic saute until soft.
Add the wine, cook until the liquid is reduced to half.
Lower the fire and add heavy cream stir quickly, add the Parmesan cheese, make sure to stir the bottom on the pan to avoid burning. When the cheese has combined together with the cream it will thickened a bit. Make sure to taste the cream prior to seasoning, the Parmesan imparts some saltiness to the cream so taste the sauce as to adjust the salt amount. Season with crushed thyme, salt and white pepper, set a side.
In a separate pot boil water to cook the asparagus, add salt to the water as you would when cooking pasta. Fill a bowl with cold water and ice cubes, this you have prepared on the side to immediately put the asparagus in after boiled using a slotted spoon. Boil the asparagus between 2-4 minutes and place immediately in the ice water bowl using a slotted spoon.
The time for asparagus will vary according to the size and freshness of your asparagus,
I would say between 2-4 minutes. I would make a test by placing only two or three into the water and watch them as they are boiling. Remove them, cool and feel the texture, once you understand proceed with the rest. The asparagus should be bright green and not too cooked you would want it to remain a little “al dente” texture. After cooling down, cut the top buds off (use the left over for example a salad or omelet).
Prior to serving, build the canapes :
Spread on top of each puff pastry square , one full teaspoon Parmesan cream,
next place one asparagus bud on the top.