I like to welcome Spring with food. Two of the first vegetables to make their appearance at the farmstands are bright green pencil thin aparagus and vibrant red/pink radishes. My favorite way to to eat both are fresh and raw. Here are two easy appetizers to make at the first sign of Spring. Enjoy!
From by the bay wishing you vibrant food memories!
Asparagus Puree with Lemon Ricotta Crostini
16 very thin asparagus spears or 8 asparagus thicker spears
2 tablespoons fresh mint
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
¼ pound fresh ricotta cheese
4 tablespoons grated pecorino cheese
4 slices ciabatta bread toasted
Coarse sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper
Clean asparagus, remove the tender tips and place to the side. Snap off woody stems and discard. In to food processor add asparagus stalks broken into pieces and coarsely chop. Add the following to the asparagus: mint, olive oil, lemon juice and 2 tbs. grated pecorino. Pulse a few times. In a separate bowl combine the ricotta cheese, lemon zest salt and pepper. On hot toasted ciabatta bread layer the ricotta cheese, puree asparagus, grated pecorino cheese. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and add asparagus spear to the top.
Simple Radish Crostini
2 fresh radishes
2 tablespoons salted butter
4 slices ciabatta bread
Coarse sea salt
Clean radishes and using a mandoline slice the radish into rounds. Keep radish slices in iced water until ready to use. In a 400F degree oven, place 4 slices of ciabatta bread on a baking sheet in the oven until the bread starts to brown, flip bread over and toast the other side, 2-3 mins per side. Let toasted ciabatta bread cool a little, then spread with the best salted butter you can buy. Take radish slices out of the water and dry with a paper towel before layering the rounds on top the bread and butter. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and serve.