I’m at that point in a move when you swear you have seen something that you are looking for but can’t seem to find it anywhere. You know that point when there are boxes everywhere and all counter space is taken and you don’t even know how some things you don’t need at all made it from one place to the other, and those things you really need are no where to be found. It’s quite lovely, moving. You may have done it.
The one thing that I found quickly and easily were my baking sheets. And that was because I carried them by hand. Because they didn’t fit in a box. And because, you know, they’re special to me. I’m protective. This was perfect because two baking sheets were all I needed for this satisfying and comforting, yet unfussy meal.
Especially because it is precisely when you are moving and you can’t find anything you need that you want something home cooked. Even when you have to eat it sitting on the floor, using boxes as tables. Not that I’m saying that I did that.
Asparagus Tarts (recipe from Joy the Baker)
To add some luxury to a time when you feel constantly dirty and sweaty, I bought this puff pasty. It’s made with 100% butter, which makes it 100% yum. Seriously. It was so good that I made some leftover puff pastry with just cheese on it. Butter and cheese. Don’t judge.
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed but still cold
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 cups gruyere cheese, grated
1 pound asparagus, trimmed
salt and coarse ground black pepper
balsamic reduction, optional
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Unfold thawed puff pastry onto a lightly floured work surface. Carefully cut the puff pastry into 6 or 8 even rectangles. The number of squares will depend on the brand of puff pastry you get.
With a small knife, score a 1/4 inch boarder along the inside of each rectangle. Arrange 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet.
Brush each square lightly with beaten egg. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Top with a generous sprinkling of grated cheese. Press five to six asparagus spears into the cheese. Brush the asparagus with olive oil and sprinkle with more salt and black pepper.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until puff pastry is golden brown and asparagus is cooked through. Remove from the oven, allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with thick balsamic reduction.
Roasted Grape Salad
I don’t have measurements for this recipe. I just roasted some grapes the way I would roast any vegetable, except that I added some balsamic vinegar. You just want to make sure that all of the grapes are evenly coated – not too much and not too little. The grapes will come out sweet and a little tart and the perfect balance to the salty, cheesy tarts.
1 bunch grapes
splash of olive oil
splash of balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
3 handfulls of baby spinach leaves
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Take the grapes off the stems and wash them. Lay them out on the baking sheet. Coat with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with salt and pepper until everything is evenly coated. Place in the oven at the same time the tarts go in. They will take the same amount of time: about 20-25 minutes. While the grapes are in the oven, take the stems off the spinach leaves, wash and pat dry. Place in a large bowl. When grapes come out, let them cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes and then toss with spinach leaves. The coating on the grapes will create a dressing for the salad.