I love asparagus. They are delicious and so good for you. I learned to eat asparagus at a very late stage. Somehow it was not usual to have them at home when I was a kid. But ‘oh boy’, once I tasted them for the first time at an italian restaurant in Miami together with garlicky pasta, I fell madly in love with them.
Asparagus have the ability to dress up any dish. For this crostino I decided to pair the asparagus with ricotta, mint and lemon because these flavours together are the definition of freshness. This crostino is so tasty and elegant, you will want to make it again and again.
Wine tip: Sancerre or Riesling
Asparagus & Ricotta Crostini
- 500 gr. asparagus
- 1 tablespoon grated garlic
- 250 gr. ricotta cheese
- 100 grams Parmesan cheese
- Fresh ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon of fresh mint, chopped and some extra for decoration
Slice the asparagus on a sharp diagonal about 1/2 inch thick, leaving the tips whole.
Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the asparagus, 1/4 teaspoon salt and some pepper and cook, stirring, until the asparagus is bright green and crisp-tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Lower the heat if needed to keep the asparagus from browning. Don’t overcook them. The asparagus will soften a little more as it cools. Add one teaspoon chopped fresh mint. Remove from the heat and add one teaspoon of lemon juice. Mix well.
Combine ricotta, one teaspoon mint, one teaspoon lemon zest, a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper. Set aside
Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a grill pan. Add the sliced bread to the pan and grill on both sides. Once golden all over, remove from the heat.
Add a tablespoon of the ricotta mixture to the toasted bread. Top with one tablespoon of the sautéed asparagus. Add a few shavings of parmesan cheese. Drizzle with olive oil. Add a few grains of sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Decorate with fresh mint. Serve warm or room temperature.