Asparagus Crostini with Parmesan Crisps

Ingredients

1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 long baguette, about 2 feet long, cut into 48 1/2-inch thick slices
3/4 lb. asparagus (about 12 stalks), ends trimmed
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1-1/4 cups (5 oz.) Shredded Parmesan Cheese
1 cup Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil, divided
1/3 lb. pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch dice

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.


2. Brush both sides of each slice of bread with 1/3 cup oil. Toast until lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Let cool. (The crostini can be made up to 2 days ahead. Keep in an airtight container.)


3. Place asparagus stalks on a baking sheet and drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast 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.


4. In a small bowl, mix together Ricotta, 1/2 cup Parmesan and 2 tablespoons basil. Set aside. (This can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)


5. To make Parmesan crisps: 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. Repeat with remaining Parmesan, spacing about 1/2-inch apart. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool. (Parmesan crisps can be made 1 day ahead and stored in an airtight container.)


6. In a medium sauté pan, place the pancetta over medium heat. Cook until pancetta is crisp and brown around the edges, about 6 minutes. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Let cool.


7. Spread about 1 teaspoon of Ricotta-Parmesan mixture on each crostini. Lightly press 5 or 6 slices of asparagus and 3 or 4 pieces of pancetta into the cheese mixture. Bake 7 to 9 minutes, or until the cheese is heated through and the edges of the asparagus are a shade darker. Remove from the oven and let cool 5 minutes. Place a Parmesan crisp on top of each crostini, sprinkle with remaining basil and serve.

Recipe Courtesy of Sur La Table

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