Asparagus and Orange Tartlets with Orange Mayonnaise

These tartlets, made with light filo pastry and low-fat orange mayonnaise, make delicious canapes without too many calories. When buying asparagus make sure it is fresh, as stale varieties taste bitter. It is important not to overcook asparagus.
Preparation time : 15 minutes
Cooking time : 15 minutes
Oven : Preheat to 190°C (375°F, gas mark 5)
Calories per serving: 235


serves 4
3 sheets filo pastry 14 x 7 1/2 in (355 x 190mm) plus
3 half-sheets 7 x 3in (180 x 80mm)
1 oz (25 g) butter
1 1/2 lb (700 g) asparagus
1 orange
8 leaves of lollo rosso or other lettuce for garnish

for the mayonnaise dressing

2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
3 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon tomato puree
1/2 teaspoon caster sugar
2 tablespoons creme fraiche
Salt and pepper


1. Lightly brush melted butter over one of the large sheets of pastry. Lay a second large sheet over the first, lightly butter, then lay over the third. Repeat this procedure with the three smaller sheets and use the large sheets to line 5 small tartlet tins and the small sheets to line 3 more.

2. Prick the pastry with the end of a sharp knife and bake in the Oven for 8 minutes, until it is golden. Then whisk all the ingredients for the mayonnaise dressing together and put to one side.

3. Tie the asparagus into small bundles and stand upright in an asparagus kettle or in a tall, covered saucepan. The asparagus should stand shoulder high in the water so that the heads steam while the stems cook. Boil for about 4-7 minutes, depending on the thickness of the asparagus.

4. Cut off the tips of the asparagus, leaving 2 1/2 in (65 mm) of stalk attached. The rest can be saved and eaten separately or used for soup. Fill the cases with the asparagus spears and add a skinned orange segment for decoration to each one.

5. Arrange the tartlets on 4 serving plates and pour a little orange mayonnaise over each. Garnish with lettuce and trickle a little orange juice over the leaves. If you are not serving these savoury snacks immediately, store in the refrigerator.

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