Frozen puff pastry lets the home cook look like a pastry chef with little effort. Thaw the dough for several hours in the refrigerator. Work quickly with the chilled dough, making sure to get it in the oven before it warms up. Bake it briefly, then spread it with a rich mixture of cream and goat cheeses, top with slender spears of roasted asparagus, and bake again.
|2||bunches slender asparagus, ends trimmed|
|Olive oil (for sprinkling)|
|Salt and pepper, to taste|
|1||sheet (14 ounces) frozen puff pastry, thawed in the refrigerator|
|Flour (for sprinkling)|
|1||package (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature|
|5||ounces soft fresh goat cheese, at room temperature|
|¼||cup finely chopped fresh parsley|
|2||tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives|
1. Set the oven at 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. On another rimmed baking sheet arrange the asparagus in 1 layer. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 10 minutes. Asparagus will still be fairly crisp.
3. Unwrap puff pastry and place on a floured counter. Gently press together any cracks. Transfer to the parchment. Using a fork, prick the surface of the pastry well all over, leaving a 1-inch border all around. Use the fork to crimp the edges. Bake for 10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, in an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, if you have one, or a whisk, beat the cream cheese, goat cheese, parsley, chives, and a pinch of salt until smooth.
5. Remove pastry from oven. Using a spatula, spread the cheese mixture over the pastry, leaving a 1-inch border. Place asparagus on top. Bake for 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden. Karoline Boehm Goodnick