1/3 Puff pastry sheet, thawed in the refrigerator
1/3 Cups Frozen peas
1/3 Cup Low-fat ricotta cheese
1/2 Tbsp. Fresh mint, finely minced plus small whole leaves for garnish
Lemon zest, from half a lemon
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 ½ Tbsp. Fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 Green onion, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp. Patricia and Paul Sicilian Lemon White Balsamic Vinegar
1 Egg yolk
Flaky salt (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and put to the side.
2) Take a frozen sheet of pull pastry and cut along one of the fold lines to get 1/3 of the pastry for this recipe. Save the rest for another use. Place the pastry sheet on a lightly floured board or kitchen counter and gently roll with a floured rolling pin just to slightly flatten and even out the dough. Cut the dough evenly into two pieces.
3) Place the puff pastry rectangles on the prepared baking sheet. Using a small paring knife, slice into the dough about ½ inch from the edges creating a border all around the rectangle. (See photos). On the inside of this outline, use a fork and prick the dough on the insider of this border in several places. This will help keep the interior of the pastry from rising.
4) In a small dish, beat the egg yolk with a little water and using a pastry brush, brush the outside rim of each of the pastry rectangles. This will help the pastry get golden brown in the oven. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake until puffed, 15 to 18 minutes. Check about halfway through the cooking time and using a fork spear and bubbles that may appear in the middle of the tarts.
5) Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat and add the frozen peas and cook until tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the peas. In a food processor or blender, combine the remaining peas, the ricotta and 1/2 Tbs. of the chopped mint and process to make a chunky puree. Stir in the lemon zest and season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning.
6) In a small bowl, combine the parsley, the remaining tablespoon of chopped mint, the green onions and the reserved peas. Stir gently to combine. Season with salt, fresh ground pepper and the lemon balsamic vinegar and stir again. Taste and adjust seasoning.
7) Remove the pastry from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes. Spread the ricotta mixture evenly over the inside of the pastry (leaving the rim exposed) and top with the parsley and pea mixture. Garnish with whole mint leaves and a little extra lemon zest if desired. Sprinkle with flaky salt if desired. Enjoy.
NOTES: I never seem to run out of ways to use puff pastry. In this recipe, my pea, lemon and mint ricotta tarts, I wanted to create a brunch menu item for Mother’s Day. It is such a pretty dish, and so light and delicious. Mom loved it and I hope you will too.
I made this dish for two, but you certainly could make it for four or six and use 2/3 of the puff pastry or the entire sheet of puff pastry. Just double or triple the rest of the ingredients.
To get started with the recipe, you’ll want to thaw the puff pastry. You can do that overnight in the refrigerator (it only takes about 40 minutes, so you’ll definitely be good to go in the morning). You can also leave the pastry on the kitchen counter for about ½ hour. You are only using 1/3 of the pastry for this dish so use the rest of the pastry for other recipes. Check out my 8 Recipes Using Store Bought Puff Pastry post for other ideas.
I gently roll the puff pastry with a rolling pin simply to flatten the edges and level the pastry. Then, cut it evenly in half using a paring knife. Put both rectangles of pastry on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Leave some space between the two to allow them to puff up in the oven.
Next, use that paring knife to score an inner rectangle around the edge of the pastry (about ½ inch from the edge). This ½ inch border will rise during the bake and create a nice border to the tart. Don’t cut all the way through the dough.
In a small dish, beat the egg yolk with a little water or milk and using a pastry brush, brush that pastry rim. That will help it get golden brown during the bake. Using a fork, prick the middle section of the dough several times. This will help keep the middle of the pastry from rising too much during the bake. Place in a preheated 400-degree F oven and let bake until golden brown and puffed. About 15 – 18 minutes. About halfway through, check the pastry and prick any bubbles that might popup in the middle of the pastry.
While the pastry is baking, cook your frozen peas in a pot of salted boiling water for about 2 minutes until cooked through. Immediately drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking and help keep the peas bright green. Drain really well.
In a food processor or blender, mix the ricotta, all but 2 tablespoons of the peas and ½ tablespoon of the chopped mint. Put in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste and stir in lemon zest. Taste and adjust your seasoning.
In another small bowl, add the chopped parsley, the remaining tablespoon of chopped mint, the green onion and some salt and pepper. Gently toss. Add the lemon balsamic vinegar and gently stir again. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Once the pastry is done, let them cool completely (about 10 minutes). Spread the ricotta mixture in the middle of each pastry. Top each pastry with half the parsley and pea mixture. Garnish with some mint leaves, some lemon zest and a little flaky salt. Enjoy.
Did you like this recipe? Be sure to try some of my other favorite puff pastry recipes:
Zucchini and Summer Squash Tart