These are a delicious combination of asparagus, hot smoked salmon, cream cheese and lemon zest, all wrapped in buttery puff pastry. I’ve used 4 asparagus spears per bundle here, but it really depends on how thin your asparagus is – you could get away with more, if using the very thin ones. I wouldn’t use the very thick spears for this.
I think puff pastry – especially ready-made puff pastry is one of the most versatile ingredients you can have on hand. I love homemade puff pastry too, but it’s super time consuming and the all-butter pastry you can get is really very good. The ready rolled stuff – even better!
These asparagus bundles are really delicious to eat and are nice served warm from the oven as an appetiser with salad, cold on a buffet table and make a great portable snack to take on a picnic. Like all things made with puff pastry though, they will lose their crispness, so they are best eaten within 24 hours of making them.
Leave the puff pastry in the fridge until you have all the other ingredients ready to assemble. It can behave badly if it gets too warm and not puff up as much as it should do.
1 sheet of ready-made, ready-rolled, all-butter puff pastry
150g (approx) cream cheese – I used Philadelphia, full fat
24 (approx) trimmed asparagus spears – I used 4 per bundle
2 fillets of hot smoked salmon – I used honey roasted, ready to eat
Zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
Salt and pepper
1 little olive oil
1 egg, beaten
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F and line a baking tin with parchment or a non-stick liner
On a lightly floured surface, cut the rectangle of ready-rolled puff pastry into 6 equal squares. I used a pizza cutter to do this.
Then, on a diagonal, spoon a little cream cheese onto each square and flake the salmon on top. You really don’t need a lot, or you won’t be able to close your parcel.
Rub a little oil onto the asparagus spears with your hands, just enough to help it cook in the oven.
Season with salt and black pepper and then sprinkle over the lemon zest. This really helps lift the flavours.
Brush the visible edges of the pastry with beaten egg and draw up two opposite corners to form a bundle, press the edges together to seal.
Place the pastry bundles ontp the prepared baking sheet and brush the tops with beaten egg and sprinkle over a little extra salt and pepper if you like.
If it’s a very warm day and the parcels have warmed up too much, put them in the fridge to chill out and firm back up for 10-20 minutes.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until puffed and golden. Serve warm from the oven as an appetiser with salad, or cold for a buffet or picnic