Asparagus and Spinach Tarts

, from Issue #26. November, 2015
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Asparagus and Spinach Tarts

A savoury take on a Danish pastry, this is delicious for brunch or lunch served with a crisp salad. It’s important to use thin asparagus spears for these tarts, as thicker ones may take too long to cook.

Serves: 4


2 sheets pre-rolled puff pastry

100 grams spinach, tough stems removed and well washed
100 grams cream cheese at room temperature
1 clove garlic, crushed
finely grated zest 1⁄2 a lemon
1⁄2 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

To assemble
12-16 slim spears of asparagus
8 thin slices salami, 7 or 8 cm diameter
olive oil
1 egg, lightly beaten (egg wash)
sesame or mustard seeds


Preheat the oven to 200 ̊C.

Filling: Put the spinach in a bowl, cover with boiling water and turn to wilt. Drain and refresh in cold water. Place in a clean tea towel and squeeze out all the moisture. Chop finely. Beat the cream cheese until smooth then mix through the spinach, garlic, lemon zest and ground fennel. Season.

To cook: Cut each sheet of pastry into two 12 cm x 12 cm squares.

Spread the spinach cream in a 6 cm wide strip, diagonally from corner to opposite corner over the pastry. Toss the asparagus in a little olive oil and season. Loosely wrap in the salami and place on top of the spinach cream.

Brush the pastry border with egg wash and fold in the two corners, leaving the ends and tips of the asparagus uncovered. Brush the pastry with the egg wash and sprinkle with sesame or mustard seeds. Bake 25 minutes or until the pastry is fully cooked and a deep golden colour.