Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Healthy Asparagus Spiral Puffs
Happy first day of spring! Yesterday was the official end of my least favorite season and this morning is to be sunny and 65 degrees in New York. My pup and I will be strolling around for a long time today, soaking up the spring. To be truthful, the northeast has enjoyed a very mild winter this year (the second mildest in history according to the news reports) and we escaped the majority of the deep freeze, snow and slush that normally blankets us for a few months. But psychologically, I still knew it was winter but now it is spring! OK, I'll shut up about that now.
Part Time Housewife. She posted a recipe for these green lovelies and my jaw dropped. So simple! Or, to quote a line from one of my favorite Agatha Christie movies - "such a brilliant lack of complication." Love that line!
Anyway, back to the green lovelies. Lauren used low-fat crescent roll dough but no such thing exists in my market. So I decided to adapt my favorite healthy olive oil tart dough and make these even lighter and healthier. Because my dough contains oil, I altered Lauren's recipe but I do love working with it. Apart from containing only healthy fat, it comes together without a mixer, food processor or pastry cutter. And these spirals, while fancy looking, are very easy to prepare. Enjoy...and happy spring!
24 Spears of asparagus, rinsed (thicker stems will work better)
1 1/4 Cups all purpose flour plus extra for rolling out dough
1/3 Cup low-fat buttermilk
1/4 Cup olive oil plus 1 tablespoon
1/4 Cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 Tablespoons cheddar cheese, shredded (optional)
2 Tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
1/2 Teaspoon salt
Salt and pepper to taste
In a bowl, combine the flour, salt, Parmesan cheese, cheddar cheese and chives. Make a well in the center. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and 1/4 cup of olive oil. Add the wet mixture to the well of the flour bowl and begin incorporating with a fork until all or most of the flour disappears. Work the dough with your hands slightly to incorporate any remaining flour, wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Note that the cooked asparagus does not hold up well in the refrigerator but the uncooked dough does. If you are preparing fewer asparagus spears, simply use the amount of dough you need, wrap the rest in plastic and refrigerate. It will be fine for a couple of days or you could freeze it.