Spring is finally here in SE Wisconsin. Winter has been dragging her feet, refusing to go. But it is a welcome relief from last year’s warm spring and late frost which wiped out over 90% of the tart cherry crop in Michigan. As I am still a Michigander at heart I just can’t imagine another summer without local cherries!
I wouldn’t even be thinking spring yet if it were not for the small asparagus buds I found poking through the soil in my community garden plot this weekend (leftover from the last tenant, thank you!) I decided to test out an idea for a new recipe using the asparagus. It is a tart, earthy and sweet pastry using store bought phyllo dough (okay, I will admit this isn’t local), Wisconsin goat cheese, and for a little taste of Michigan some Esch Road Blueberry Foster. I love Esch Road, they do some great products using local ingredients. I picked up their delicious Blueberry Foster topping while at the Good Food Festival in Chicago. I was surprised to hear that they are located in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, one of my favorite stomping grounds. They just opened in 2012.
Now I know I could make a blueberry sauce of my own, but why bother when they do it so well! These are great little savory sweet pastries. Perfect for breakfast, desert, or anytime.
Blueberry Asparagus Pastries
This recipe makes a dozen pastries.
24 asparagus spears
4 sheets of phyllo dough
1/4 cup of butter, melted
3/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
1/2 jar of Esch Road Blueberry Foster or other blueberry sauce
Snap the woody ends off the asparagus and discard.
Take 1 sheet of phyllo dough, lay horizontally and cut in thirds. Brush each third lightly with melted butter. (Keep other sheets under a damp towel to keep from drying out.)
Lay each third sized sheet horizontally and place two stalks of asparagus at one end of the phyllo sheet so their tops stick out.
Put a tablespoon of the goat cheese and 2 teaspoons of blueberry sauce on the asparagus.
Roll the asparagus/goat cheese/blueberry sauce up with the phyllo, first folding the bottom edge up and over the bottom ends of the asparagus.
Place on a baking sheet. Brush with more melted butter.
Repeat all steps for each of the remaining sheets of phyllo.
Bake in an oven preheated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes, or until the phyllo is lightly golden and asparagus cooked through.