Asparagus and Watercress Tarts

Fresh asparagus, peppery watercress and crisp puff pastry make a fabulous combination in this winning recipe from Merrilees Parker
By Merrilees Parker
Asparagus and Watercress Tarts
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy



  • 85 g watercress
  • 01/2 unwaxed lemons, juice and zest
  • 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 50 g parmesan, grated

for the tart

  • 375 g puff pastry
  • 20 asparagus
  • 60 g parmesan, grated

to serve

  • 85 g watercress
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • freshly ground salt and black pepper


1. Set the oven to 180C/gas 4.

2. Make the pesto by placing the watercress, lemon juice and olive oil in a blender and whizzing until smooth. Season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper and then fold in the Parmesan.

3. Roll out the pasty to a thickness of 4mm and then cut into four 23x17cm rectangles. Brush each one generously with the watercress pesto, leaving a border of 2cm all around. Top each with five asparagus spears and sprinkle with a tablespoon of Parmesan.

4. Place on a baking sheet and cook for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.

5. Just before serving, dress the remaining watercress with the olive oil, balsamic and plenty of seasoning.

6. Place a tart in the centre of each of four serving plates. Top with a handful of watercress and finish with a drizzle of pesto.

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