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Asparagus CrostiniServe this colorful crostini at your next party and the plates will be empty before you know it!

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May 2007

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Hors D’Oeuvres & Cocktail Snacks

Asparagus Crostini

With Pancetta And A Parmesan Crisp

This asparagus recipe, courtesy of Sargento Cheese Artisan Blends, is perfect to serve at parties, as hors d’oeuvres or a first course. The crostinis are easy to eat and look great on a platter. Not to mention, they are absolutely delicious, and everyone will want the recipe. If you want a vegetarian dish, substitute vegetarian bacon for the pancetta.

The crunchy crostini and the ricotta and parmesan crisps can be made two days ahead of time (refrigerate the ricotta mixture and store the crisps and crostinis in airtight containers).

Asparagus are available year-round, although spring is the best season for fresh asparagus. April through late June is prime asparagus season; however, now that much of our asparagus is being grown in South America instead of the Pacific Northwest, there may be a seasonal shift. Read more about the types of asparagus in our recipe for Linguine With Asparagus And Parma Ham.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup, plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
  • 1 long baguette, about 2 feet long, cut into 48 1/2-inch thick slices
  • 3/4 pound asparagus (about 12 stalks), ends trimmed
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-1/4 cups (5 ounces) shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil, divided
  • 1/3 pound pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch dice

Preparation

Crostini

  1. Brush both sides of each slice of bread with 1/3 cup oil.
  2. Toast until lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Let cool.

Ricotta Mixture

  1. In a small bowl, mix together Ricotta, 1/2 cup Parmesan and 2 tablespoons basil. Set aside.

Parmesan Crisp

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place a heaping teaspoonful of Parmesan on the baking sheet. Smooth into a rectangle about the length of each crostini.
  2. Repeat with remaining Parmesan, spacing about 1/2-inch apart. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool.  
Parmesan Cheese
We made our crostini with
Sargento Artisan Blends
Parmesan.

Asparagus

  1. Place asparagus stalks on a baking sheet and drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  2. Roast at 375°F until the asparagus is just beginning to turn brown and crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Let sit until cool enough to handle. Cut the asparagus crosswise into 1/4-inch slices. Set aside.

Pancetta

  1. In a medium sauté pan, place the pancetta over medium heat. Cook until pancetta is crisp and brown around the edges, about 6 minutes.

  2. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Let cool.
Asparagus
Photo of asparagus by
Anna H-G | SXC.

Assembly

  1. Spread about 1 teaspoon of Ricotta-Parmesan mixture onto each crostini. Lightly press 5 or 6 slices of asparagus and 3 or 4 pieces of pancetta into the cheese mixture.

  2. Bake 7 to 9 minutes, or until the cheese is heated through and the edges of the asparagus are a shade darker.
  3. Remove from the oven and let cool 5 minutes. Place a Parmesan crisp on top of each crostini, sprinkle with remaining basil and serve. These will be very popular!

Recipe and photo © Sargento Cheese. All other material © copyright 2005- 2014 Lifestyle Direct, Inc. All rights reserved.  Images are the copyright of their respective owners.



 


 



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