November 2018 | Wai Lin Coultas
DRAWING INSPIRATION from the Italian Bruschetta of grilled bread topped with tomatoes, veg, cured meat or cheese, along with olive oil and salt, and marrying it to the Australian love for savoury tarts yields a speedy recipe where the puff pastry needs just one easy bake – perfect for a quick refreshing energy-packed yet deliciously nutritious lunch during another busy day in late spring!
½ sheet square raw puff pastry, kept cold
50g Mount Gnomon ham*, thinly sliced
100g asparagus, quickly blanched in salted boiling water and drained after fibrous ends are broken off
1 egg, beaten and seasoned with salt and crack black pepper
100g baby Roma tomatoes, each sectioned into 8
7 pitted Kalamata olives, sliced
½ leaf iceberg lettuce, roughly chopped
1 sprig fresh Thai basil, leaves roughly chopped 5 sprig tips fresh Thai basil**
1 sprig fresh tarragon, leaves roughly chopped
1 sprig fresh marjoram, leaves roughly chopped
Mount Direction Olives’ Lime Agrumato olive oil***
Crack black pepper
Vintage Cheddar cheese
* Chosen for its intense savoury flavour and healthy pink firm texture.
** Can be swapped with any basil.
*** Only real limes are used by the producer; giving a power-packed natural citrus flavour.
1. Pre-heat oven to fan-forced 190C.
2. Using blunt edge of a knife, lightly score a 1 cm border round all sides of puff pastry lying on baking paper-lined tray.
3. Lay first ham and then asparagus within the border; covering puff pastry within before brushing border with seasoned beaten egg.
4. Bake in oven for 25 to 30 minutes till pastry has crisped, puffed and browned.
5. Meanwhile toss tomatoes, olives, lettuce, chopped basil, tarragon and marjoram with olive oil, salt and pepper.
6. Top tossed mixture over asparagus baked pastry; generously shaving over with cheese, garnishing with basil sprig tips then serving immediately.
Photo | IWai Lin Coultas