Open-Faced Roasted Asparagus with Fresh Ricotta and Pesto

Open-Faced Roasted Asparagus with Fresh Ricotta and Pesto

by Amy Flanigan on April 17, 2012 · 14 comments

Asparagus is available year-round (thank goodness), but spring is the best season for the freshest, with April being primetime, baby!

I just love it. Sometimes I’ll simply roast up a bundle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then eat the spears like you would licorice sticks. (Hey, finger food comes in many different forms at my house.) This time, however, I decided they needed a bed.

Doesn’t this lovely ‘lil half sandwich scream freshness and spring? It’s so light and delicious  – especially if you make your own ricotta. Which, IMHO, is the only way to eat it. 20 minutes is all you need! If you don’t have time to prepare it the day of, make it the day before and just slightly warm it up in the microwave before using. Here, you’ll only need a 1/2 cup, which works out perfectly, because later this week I’ll give you a way to use up the rest of it.

Mmmm. Come to mama!

Open-Faced Roasted Asparagus with Fresh Ricotta and Pesto
Makes 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

• 1/2 pound asparagus, rinsed and tough ends removed
• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
• salt and pepper
• 1-2 teaspoons lemon juice
• 4 slices rustic bread
• 1/4 cup pesto
• 1/2 cup fresh ricotta
• 1 scallion, chopped

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Lay the asparagus spears out in a single layer on a nonstick baking sheet. Drizzle the olive oil over the spears, and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Roll the asparagus back and forth until they are fully coated. Bake in the oven for approximately 10-12 minutes, depending on how thick your asparagus is, until lightly browned and tender when pierced with a fork. Drizzle with the lemon juice.

In the meantime, drizzle a little more olive oil over the bread slices and toast lightly. Spread about a tablespoon of pesto onto each slice, and spoon a few tablespoons of warm ricotta on top, followed by a couple asparagus spears and a sprinkle of chopped scallions. Finish them off by drizzling a tad more olive oil and grinding on a little black pepper.

(adapted from Kathy at Panini Happy)

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

denise May 21, 2012 at 6:21 am

omg..i cant’ stop eating this. i’ve made it about four times since you posted. i find myself thinking about it at random times of the day… so crazy good!!!!


Amy May 21, 2012 at 7:35 am

Oh, I know right!? I love this little ditty. So glad you do, too! Have you tried the one I posted with the ricotta and roasted grapes? To die.


Shannon @ RecipesMe May 1, 2012 at 4:24 pm

This recipe is very different but sounds so good :)


the wicked noodle April 19, 2012 at 6:52 am

This looks SO good! I’ve been wanting to make a similar recipe lately but just haven’t gotten around to it. I’m re-inspired!!


Mom April 17, 2012 at 6:31 pm

Everything looks so good, I might as well move into the kitchen and never leave! Last week, I made your Crock pot Mongolian Beef and tonight the Crock pot Honey Sesame Chicken. Both were excellent. See comment on each recipe site. Looks like it’s time to make more ricotta, because I won’t use store bought any more.


Amy April 17, 2012 at 7:17 pm

I thought of you when I made this, knowing how much you both love asparagus, and your appreciation for the homemade ricotta. You’d love it. It’s so easy and flavorful. Good for a light lunch this weekend :D


Joanne April 17, 2012 at 4:26 pm

I LIVE for asparagus season. almost as much as I LIVE for butternut squash season. Seriously…is there anything better than those roasted stalks?

Oh right. Roasted stalks with RICOTTA. Love.


Jenna April 17, 2012 at 7:54 am

Maybe when I get cravings for junk food I can discipline myself to roast up some asparagus–that sounds SO much better than chips or fries. Mmmmm!!! And I’ve been meaning to make that spring vegetable couscous of yours for a while but for some reason it keeps getting pushed to the next week and the next–I need to hunker down and just make it happen. I’ve been craving it ever since I read your post on it.


Bev Weidner April 17, 2012 at 5:34 am

A-MAY-ZIN. I want it all!


marissa @ the boot April 17, 2012 at 5:15 am

wow, i never would have thought to mix the asparagus with pesto and ricotta! it sounds absolutely delicious and springy!


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