This week's RV Recipe is a mouth-watering creamy Ricotta Asparagus Tart that you can easily warm and serve in your RV.
Tis the Season Fa la la la la to add a tasty side dish to your main meal or make this the main meal offering paired with a delicious salad.
I'd serve this with a butter leaf lettuce salad topped with diced pecans, gorgonzola crumbles, croutons, pomegranate seeds and a salad dressing with a little bit of tartness or acidity.
I like to prepare this dish in advance of an RV camping trip to have a dish in the RV fridge or freezer readily available and ‘kicked up a notch'.
You could prepare this dish at the campground if you have a toaster oven or convection oven and are hooked up to electricity, but for me doing this dish as a Make-Ahead meal makes sense.
I've enjoyed this on camping trips as a nice breakfast/brunch, lunch and even for dinner. The dish will keep in your fridge for 3 days or freezer for 3 months. Just place pre-baked portions desired in freezer ziplock bags, burp the air from the bag, label the bag with a permanent marker listing the ingredients that are in the bag, heating instructions and the date you prepared the tart.
To reheat the tart. Place a portion or 2 on a microwave-safe plate or pan, lightly cover the tart with saran wrap or a slightly moist paper towel, and microwave on HIGH power for 30 seconds per 1 serving.
Suggestion for a salad to serve with the Creamy Ricotta Asparagus Tart
1 part red wine vinegar
3 parts good quality olive oil
Squeeze of honey mustard
Squeeze of honey
Fresh ground pepper and a sprinkle of sea salt
Butter lettuce, rinsed and pat dry
Diced pecans or other nuts
Crumbled Gorgonzola Cheese
Directions for preparing Ricotta Tart with Asparagus
1. In a medium bowl add salad ingredients in the quantities desired for the number of people you plan to serve.
2. In a medium cup or shaker add salad dressing in the ratio noted above in the amounts needed for the number of people you are serving. An ounce per person of the total volume of dressing should be plenty; but the dressing will keep well in the fridge all week so I'd make enough for the week for salads. The dressing is good to use as a spread on a sandwich also.
2. Stir or shake the dressing and drizzle the dressing over the salad just as you are serving the meal.
The main recipe featured today is:
Creamy Ricotta Tart with Asparagus (recipe below)
This recipe can be made anytime but it would certainly create a nice presentation at a holiday meal. Enjoy with the salad idea above or serve with roasted meat, poultry or seafood dish.
Creamy Ricotta Asparagus Tart
1 sheet Puff Pastry
4 spears asparagus
1 tsp olive oil
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
3 tbsp finely grated parmesan
3 tbsp grated mozzarella cheese
zest of a lemon
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1. Defrost frozen pastry sheet, roll the dough to fit in your full-sized tart pan or medium pie pan.
2. Place dough in the baking pan. Top the dough with pie weights or substitute pie weight by placing baking parchment in the baking pan over the dough then fill the pan 1/3 full with uncooked beans or uncooked rice.
3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake for 15 minutes on the middle rack. Lightly shield the pastry dough if edges are browning too quickly. Remove pan of puffed pastry. When pan cools, empty out the pie weights.
4. While pastry shell is cooling, rinse the asparagus, snap off (or cut off) the lower 1 1/2″ from the stem end, pat dry, set aside.
5. In a medium bowl combine ricotta, grated parmesan, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, nutmeg and pepper, set aside.
6. Pour the ricotta filling into the tart pan.
6. Drizzle the asparagus spears in olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
7. Add asparagus spears then grated mozzarella on top of the ricotta mixture. Lightly cover the tart with foil.
8. Lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees F and bake the tart for about 20 minutes so allow the ricotta to set.
Where did the idea of tarts come from?
Pastry Joe posted an interesting article on the topic advising that here are two schools of thought on the history of tarts. One that tarts have evolved out of the “putting things on top of other things” tradition of gastronomy. According to this line of thought, human beings have been putting foodstuffs on top of other foodstuffs — notably round, flat pieces of bread — for millennia now. Since bread is made of flour and tart crusts are made of flour (albeit highly enriched flour), any of these foods counts as a tart. Technically. People argue the same thing about cake…and pizza.
The second school of thought maintains that tarts evolved from the Medieval pie-making tradition, and are in fact a kind of flat, open-faced pie. These folks have the shape and technique argument on their side, and I’m inclined to side with them. Enriched doughs (i.e. “short” crusts) came into common use about two hundred years after pies (about 1550 versus about 1350 or before for basic pie crusts), and in the same geographic area — Europe.
Pies and tarts differ in that while pie was a commoner’s sort of fare, a way of recycling offal and table scraps for later consumption (call it Medieval Tupperware), tarts were the stuff of high cuisine. Which is to say, they were extremely popular among the nobility. Court cooks employed tarts not so much for their taste but because of their looks. Often custard-based, a large, open tart presented a broad canvas upon which an artistic chef might compose a work of edible art. Thus brightly-colored fruits, vegetables and spices all found their way into (onto) them. They could be sweet, savory, or more often than not, a mixture of both.
Over time culinary trends took tarts primarily in the sweet direction (citrus tarts like orange and lemon are two all-time classics) though it’s important not to forget their famous savory cousins, quiches and savory tarts.
Want more RV Recipes? My cookbook Small Kitchen Big Flavors! is available at a great Introductory Price on eBay and my blog site at: https:/smallkitchenbigflavorsblog.wordpress.com
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