I was flipping through this month’s People magazine when I came across a recipe and beautiful picture for spring tartines. My mouth watering, I immediately ripped out the page and took it with me to see what I could find at the farmer’s market. The original recipe had asparagus, fennel, peas, radishes and arugula- the asparagus and peas blanched and everything else naked. I adjusted the recipe to suit my tastes, including grilled elements for taste and jazzing up the arugula by letting it marinate a bit in olive oil, balsamic, and agave nectar. I also mixed parmesan with the ricotta. I picked up most of the vegetables from the farmer’s market, piled everything on the ricotta slathered toasts, and the resulting recipe consisted of blissful bites of fresh deliciousness. I have made these 3 times in the past 2 weeks. They are that good. This is one of those recipes that is easy to adjust to your tastes, and what you have on hand. Be creative!
loosely adapted from Alain Ducasse’s Veggie Toast (People Magazine June 2012)
16 thin asparagus spears
2 zucchinis, sliced lengthwise
4 slices of your favorite bread, (I like Italian or Asiago Cheese) toasted on both sides and brushed with extra virgin olive oil
15 cherry tomatoes, halved, or 2 tomatoes sliced
10 radishes, thinly sliced
2 cups or so of baby arugula, loosely packed
extra virgin olive oil
amber agave nectar
Lightly brush the asparagus and zucchini slices with olive oil and sprinkle with a little bit of salt. On high heat, grill the asparagus on a grill pan. On the grill grate, grill zucchini for a few minutes on each side, flipping once, until there are grill marks but the zucchini is still a bit firm. (not mushy) Cut off the bottoms of the asparagus, so you basically have just the top 2 inches of the asparagus.
Put your desired amount of ricotta into a small bowl and mix in a small pinch of salt and some shavings of parmesan.
Spread the ricotta on the toasts. Line the tomatoes down center.
Place the zucchini slices on top of the tomatoes, then add the radish slices. and asparagus. Top each toast with the arugula. Finish with shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano and freshly ground black pepper. Keep some napkins handy and devour.