Spotting flawless asparagus, artichokes, and strawberries in markets this month is exciting enough to want to shout "Spring's here!" from the rooftops. Instead, celebrate the season by highlighting peak produce in an unexpected way: as the star ingredient of a delicate baked tart. Envelop ripe apricots in a simple pie crust to make a free-form dessert. Or, if you're looking for a savory main, top store-bought puff pastry with umami-laden asparagus stalks and Comté cheese. For recipients of either dish, your enthusiasm for the greenmarket is sure to be infectious. Whet your appetite for both recipes when you keep reading.
All-purpose flour, for dusting Makes two 9-inch tarts. 1 sheet frozen puff pastry (half of 17.3-ounce package), thawed Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer or 4 as a main course.
1/2 recipe Pate Brisee (Pie Dough)
8 firm but ripe apricots (about 1 1/2 pounds), pitted and cut into sixths
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Zest of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 egg, beaten to blend
1 pound slender asparagus spears, trimmed
1/2 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/8 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 ounces thinly sliced soppressata or other salami, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2/3 cup grated Comté or gruyere cheese (about 3 ounces), divided
All-purpose flour, for dusting
Makes two 9-inch tarts.
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (half of 17.3-ounce package), thawed
Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer or 4 as a main course.