Mini Asparagus Puff Pastry Squares

"Ask and you shall receive" is a quote that I often find myself hearing. It is usually beneficial to just ask a question, whether you will get the answer or not. Yesterday I posted a photo of my Mini Puff Pastry Squares on Instagram and immediately got responses like "Hi, Recipe?" Now I usually post my recipes as you all know but this was a sort of fly by the seat of my pants recipe. I was whipping up a batch of these for a Pajama Sleepover Themed Bridal Shower. I needed something light but still decadant and these fit the bill perfectly. No, they don't have much to do with PJs but I made about 140 of these and not a single one remained (not counting the ones that my siblings and I snacked straight out of the oven).

This is a great recipe for entertaining. Once you get all the ingredients, it's a cinch to put together. I cheated on this batch slightly by using a prepared pesto but feel free to make your own. The last time I made these I had 3 boxes of arugula in the fridge so I made a pesto out of arugula, basil and mint- you can't go wrong with pesto. Just don't forget the garlic and EVOO and you're good to go. You should also know that puff pastry is one of my favorite ingredients for entertaining because they keep well in the freezer and you can literally top them with anything and voila! A show stopping appetizer! Let's get cooking...

Mini Asparagus Puff Pastry Squares 


*Note: This recipe yields over 100 mini squares.

Ingredients:

1 Package of 36 Puff Pastry Squares, cut into 4ths
2 Large bunches of Asparagus
1 lb. of Italian Mascarpone
1 lb. of Pesto
Zest from 2 Lemons
Fresh Thyme, stems removed
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Freshly Cracked Salt and Pepper

Directions:

Start by cutting your chilled Puff Pastry Squares into fourths. A large chef's knife is best for this job.  If you don't want mini ones, just leave as is and they will come out equally delicious. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. To prepare the Asparagus, carefully cut the head of the spear in half lengthwise. Reserve bottoms of asparagus for another use. The head of the asparagus should be able to lie flat on top of the square. Prick the squares with a fork all over to reduce excess puffing of the pastry. To assemble, spread about a quarter size ball of Mascarpone cheese onto the square. You may need to dollop and wait for it to soften a bit to continue spreading. Top with an even amount of the Pesto. 


Next, press the halved asparagus spear diagonally across the square. You want to press it into the cheese so it does not fall off during baking. Add a bit of Lemon Zest and Thyme to each square. 
Crack Salt and Pepper evenly across all the squares. 


Bake for 12-15 minutes. Keep an eye out during the last few minutes of cooking time. Squares will be ready when they start to turn golden brown on the bottom. Test for yumminess and adjust accordingly. 

Then, watch them disappear... Enjoy!

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