A while ago, I told you about our Grilled Cheese Night, and one of the recipes featured was an Asparagus & Ricotta Tartine. I came across this recipe at Panini Happy. I’ve made many of the meals featured on Kathy’s page, and I love that she finds tons of uses for her Panini maker. Finding new uses for seemingly one-note appliances feels like such an accomplishment! I love how clean this recipe looks and I welcome the chance to make something with ricotta that isn’t stuffed in a jumbo pasta shell or hidden in something like pancakes or cake.
I modified Kathy’s recipe slightly by hiding roasted garlic under the ricotta – it’s a nice surprise to bite into something looking so light and airy and to be hit with a depth of flavour that you wouldn’t have thought was there. Ricotta doesn’t have a particular taste and is very friendly to any kind of seasoning, sweet or savory. Since I really dislike salt and sweet together (or ingredients that are meant to be salty but are actually sweet – like sweet & sour chicken? ugh) and cheese to me is a salty thing, I really have only used (and only intend to use) ricotta in savoury meals. I also changed it up by mixing the ricotta with some dried basil, black pepper & a touch of salt.
Asparagus & Ricotta Tartines
4 Slices Plait / Crusty Bread, cut to desired thickness
8 Asparagus stalks, ends trimmed
Black pepper & Salt
1 head Roasted Garlic (done in oven or on stovetop – instructions for both methods can be found here)
3/4 cup Ricotta
1/2 tsp dried Basil
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1/4 tsp Salt
1 tsp chopped Parsley
1 tsp ground Flaxseed (optional)
2 stalks chopped Shallots
Preheat oven to 425. Place Asparagus in an oven-safe dish and drizzle with oil, pepper & salt. Ensure that each stalk is thoroughly coated. Place in oven and cook 10 minutes. Put garlic on stovetop to roast if you dont have it on hand (or use oven, the stovetop is faster). Full instructions here.
In the meantime, toast bread lightly and mix basil, pepper, salt, parsley and ground flaxseed (if using) into ricotta.
To assemble, spread mashed roasted garlic on bread. Cover with ricotta mixture & top each slice with 2 asparagus stalks. Sprinkle liberally with black pepper & cut shallots.
Note: This is a messy meal. You’ll end up with ricotta all over your lips and you’ll feel like a celebrity in those Got Milk? Ads. But it’s light and deeply satisfying and you won’t get that heavy, bloated, “I need to sleep now so shut up” feeling.
I did this in a smaller format for the Grilled cheese night. I used a 2 inch round cookie cutter and cut sliced whole wheat bread and assembled as per normal (of course you should cut the asparagus into bize sized piece). I should have toasted the bread but we were chatting and I really didn’t think about it at the time. I actually can’t talk and cook properly at the same time – I can rub my stomach and tap my head however…not to brag or anything…
This smaller version was nice and bite sized, but the only drawback was that you end up with a lot of scrap bread. You could also just eat those, or collect, toast and run it in a food processor with some dried herbs for a few seconds for quick breadcrumbs. Or you send to me so that I can feed the crazy amount of birds that have appeared in my yard. I kind of feel like Harry Potter and all the birds are outside waiting to give me my admission letter to Hogwarts.
I’m bringing this light and filling meal to Fiesta Friday and wishing all of you a fabulous weekend with lots of World Cup excitement!