Roasted Asparagus and Ricotta Crostini

The roasted asparagus and ricotta crostini is a brilliant Italian appetizer.  It’s a simple yet full of possibilities. In other words, it’s customizable so you can add or remove ingredients to your liking.

In a way, crostinis are like croutons. Even some of the preparations are so similar, but with a different size.

They’re also like a toast, where you spread or garnish something on top, in this case, ricotta, pesto, and asparagus.

That said, let’s make this Lauren Sharifi-inspired Ricotta Crostini!

How to make roasted asparagus and ricotta crostini?

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. 

First off, wash and prep any fresh ingredients. Don’t forget to snap off the bottom inch of the asparagus. And, slice the bell peppers into at least 8 pieces.

Cut the bread into about an inch or half.

Now, there’ll be lots of parts to do, so you have to multitask here. Let’s go with the ones that will go to the oven first. 

Line two baking sheets with parchment papers.

In the first one, add the asparagus and bell pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Using your clean hands, toss the veggies to make sure all parts are covered.

In the second baking sheet, place the sliced baguettes. Make sure that there’s no overlapping bread and brush them with olive oil.

Place both the baking sheets of veggies and bread into the oven. Then, bake for about 10-15 minutes.

They may not finish at the same time, so it’s better to keep watch.

Add the olive oil, lemon juice, peas, garlic cloves, and parmesan cheese into a food processor to make the pesto. Blend until smooth.

While that’s blending, prepare the tomatoes. First, dice them into small pieces. Place the diced tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Mix well until tomatoes are well-covered.

Finally, bring out the veggies and bread to cool. You still need to chop the asparagus into three equal pieces. 

For plating, you can either set aside the garnish or plate them by yourself. Lauren’s version is to spread the ricotta, then pesto, and lastly, top with the veggies. Just make sure that they’ll be eaten right away as they might get soggy quickly.

Tips and Substitutions

You can also try regular store-bought pesto for faster preparation. Speaking of which, there’s also the ready-made roasted bell peppers.

Anyway, you can make the baguette of the roasted asparagus and ricotta crostini into garlic bread by simply rubbing a chopped (sliced-side) garlic into the bread.

If you don’t have a food processor for the pea pesto, you can use a blender if the container has a shallow body. Otherwise, it won’t work as much since the blades might not hit the constituents.

Roasted Asparagus and Ricotta Crostini

Recipe by Zoey GarciaCourse: AppetizersCuisine: Italian, AmericanDifficulty: Easy
Servings

8

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

15

minutes
Total time

30

minutes

The roasted asparagus and ricotta crostini is a brilliant Italian appetizer.  It’s a simple yet full of possibilities. In other words, it’s customizable so you can add or remove ingredients to your liking.

Ingredients

  • 1 french baguette, sliced

  • 12 asparagus stalks (bottom part removed)

  • 2 bell peppers, sliced

  • 1 small tomato, diced

  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

  • Olive oil

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • ¾ cup ricotta cheese

  • Pea pesto
  • ⅓ cup olive oil

  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

  • 1 cup peas

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • ½ cup parmesan cheese

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
  • In a baking sheet with parchment paper, toss asparagus and bell pepper with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  • Place the sliced baguettes in a separate baking sheet and brush them with olive oil (both sides).
  • You can toast the baguette along with the veggies for about 10-15 minutes.
  • While waiting, in a bowl, mix the diced tomatoes with balsamic vinegar, a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  • In a food processor, add the pea pesto ingredients and blend until smooth.
  • Once done baking, bring them out of the oven and let them cool.
  • Slice the asparagus into three pieces.
  • For plating, spread the pesto on the toasted bread. Then, spread the ricotta cheese on top of the pesto. Finally, garnish with tomatoes, bell pepper, and asparagus.

Notes

  • Recipe inspired by Lauren Sharifi.

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