My wife and I both love to cook. I’m a, little bit of this and a little bit of that type of guy, whereas my wife follows recipes to tee. She can make something a hundred times and the cookbook always comes out. Kind of cracks me up, but hey it always taste great. So, you can imagine my surprise every time she makes two of her favorite spring dishes, Bruschette and Grilled Asparagus with a Parmesan Pine Nut Dressing, that it ends up, a little bit of this and a little bit of that. I asked her to make them this passed weekend as friends were coming over for an early Spring cookout. I wrote down every step and I know you will enjoy these dishes as much as our friends did.
1 lb. plum tomatoes, diced (2 1/2 cups)
1 pkg. (4oz) crumbled feta cheese, with basil and tomato, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
2 tbs. chopped fresh parsley
2 tbs. olive oil
1 tbs. chopped pitted ripe olives
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 loaf French bread, cut into 1/2 inch slices
- Mix tomatoes, cheese, onion, parsley, oil, olives and pepper. Set aside
- Brush bread slices lightly with additional oil. Place on a cookie sheet and broil each side until lightly toasted.
- Top each toasted slice with about 2 tsp. of tomato mixture
Grilled Asparagus Ingredients:
1 lb. fresh young asparagus
A little olive oil for brushing
Parmesan and Pine Nut Dressing:
¼ cup pine nuts
1 garlic clove, peeled
touch of salt
4 tbs. grated parmesan cheese
2 tbs. chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
4 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground pepper to taste
Trim you asparagus and brush with a little olive oil and set aside. For the dressing:
- Place pine nuts and garlic in a mortar and sprinkle with a little salt
- Use a pestle to ground the ingredients together until you have a smooth paste
- Work in the parmesan and parsley and gradually add the olive oil until you have a thick dressing
- Add fresh pepper to taste and set aside
- Place the asparagus on the grill rack for about 10 minutes or until tender
- Turn the spears often and brush with more oil if they become too dry
- Remove from the grill, mix with you dressing and serve with Italian bread to mop up the juices
Tip: My wife also uses this recipe for a fabulous pasta dish. She cuts the grilled asparagus in one inch pieces, tosses it with the dressing and adds to hot freshly cooked pasta.
So there you have it, two of my wife’s favorites written down in black and white. With the wonderful spring weather, try these with some grilled burgers. Find a good Pinot Noir as the lightness of the Pinot will serve as a suitable compliment to all the foods, and you are in business.