Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Healthy Asparagus Spiral Puffs

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.

Healthy Asparagus Spiral Puffs
Except... don't you think asparagus is the quintessential spring vegetable? And aren't these some of the cutest things you've ever seen? Such a great idea for a recipe, right? I wish it was mine...  But no, for this inspiration I must credit the lovely Lauren over at 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!

Ingredients
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.

Healthy Asparagus Spiral Puffs
Place the asparagus spears in a dish with the tablespoon of olive oil and roll around to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Roll out the chilled dough on a floured surface into a roughly rectangular shape. Trim the edges with a knife to make straight edges and cut 1/2 long strips. Wrap each strip around each spear of asparagus in a spiral. The oil on the asparagus will help the edges of the dough stick.Place the spears on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast in a pre-heated 450 degree oven for 12 minutes. Rotate the spears and return to the oven for an additional 12 minutes until the dough is a light golden brown. Dust the finished spirals with additional Parmesan cheese, if desired.

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.

34 comments:

  1. Happy Spring! And what a way to ring in the season. For me, asparagus is the champagne of the vegetable world and you´ve done it proud with this gorgeous recipe. Bookmarking!

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  2. Absolutely fantastic recipe!I'm so going to try this very soon :)Great for a party appetizer or a snack!!Thanks for sharing!

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  3. I am on a veggie kick. I just went shopping yesterday and LOADED up on fresh veggies. And how lucky am I that I just to happened to get some great asparagus!

    YUM!!!

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  4. I am so happy winter is over. The weather has been amazing lately and I hope it doesn't revert back for one last strike. I love asparagus and these look delicious. Great appetizer for a party or side dish.

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  5. Your version looks AWESOME! Thanks for the shout out! ;-)

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  6. These look awesome! I have to make these for my next party!

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  7. oh these look awesome! definitely want to try!

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  8. Those look delicious!! I love the "stinky pea" vegetable - Asparagus!!

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  9. This is a tasty way to prepare asparagus! That flaky cheesey dough enveloping those fresh sprigs of asparagus is something not to be missed. Delicious and healthy replacement for "bad" snack food! Well done!

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  10. My mom just made roasted asparagus for dinner last night, but I would've never thought to wrap it in delicious pastry! Pretty and tasty! I love it!

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  11. Love that quote...a brilliant lack of complication! If only all our recipes were like this! Looks SO delicious!!!

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  12. Wow! Those look so good I can taste them. Pastry. Can you serve that with Beef Wellington please!

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  13. I love asparagus,this is another great idea how to cook asparagus,looks yummy with these pastry around it,Yum !!
    Ridwan

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  14. What an amazing idea especially for EAster nice one!

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  15. This is such a great party idea--love anything asparagus, but this really amps it up.

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  16. Love the shape and taste of the spiral puffs on the asparagus. I would certainly make this the same way. Just lovely!
    Following your blog, and invite you to do the same:DDD

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  17. These twists look seriously delicious - I love the shape and texture difference between filling and crust :D
    With some good dip this could definitely blow people away!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  18. These look gorgeous and sound absolutely delicious!! I'd have to cut off the ends so it looks more like a green beans so the hubs will think it's a green bean :)

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  19. What a great way to use one of my favorite spring ingredients! Happy Spring!

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  20. Those look amazing! I love asparagus and am always trying to find something new to do with it. Happy spring!

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  21. This is SUCH a great idea! I'm totally obsessed with Spring and asparagus are definitely thee veggie of the season! This sounds absolutely fabulous - a must try!

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  22. Anita, I love these but have not made them in forever. Thanks for motivating me to make them again. Great appetizer for this weekend

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  23. I love asparagus! My family isn't a fan, but they might get over it for these beauties!

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  24. I can't wait for fresh asparagus!

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  25. I adore asparagus. This looks like a terrific appetizer recipe.

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  26. What a brilliant idea. Love asparagus. These would make for a great app.

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  27. My bf loves asparagus! He'd go crazy for this :)

    I also wanted to let you know I've nominated you for The Versatile Blogger Award! :) You can check here for more details: http://cookingactress.blogspot.com/2012/03/awards.html

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  28. This is probably one of the coolest ways to eat asparagus I've seen in a while. I have got to try this out! Oh, and I awarded you a "Liebster Blog" yesterday - b/c you are so awesome! ;)

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  29. These look wonderful! So easy ... they look like they are much more work than they are! I love that!

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  30. I love Asparagus. I'm going to have to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing.

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  31. These sound delicious! I love asparagus, and am anxiously awaiting it coming into season in MN!

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  32. These are so impressive looking and I love the dough you used. A "must try"!

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  33. can never have too many asparagus recipes {we eat it 5 days a week!} Thanks :)

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