Asparagus Bruschetta

1 lb. asparagus, ends trimmed, cut in 2” pieces
8 oz. Gruyere cheese, grated    
Kosher salt
6 oz. ham or 4 oz. Prusciutto, finely chopped or ground in food processor
1 (10 oz.) French baguette, in 1/2” slices, grilled or toasted
Extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, peeled, cut in half     
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat broiler. Bring a large saute pan of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add asparagus and cook until tender crisp, about two minutes. Transfer asparagus to colander, refresh under cold running water to stop the cooking, and drain well. Set aside. Using fingers to hold the garlic, rub clove against one side of the toasted bread to flavor entire surface. Drizzle or brush with a bit of the olive oil. Arrange blanched asparagus on toasts, then divide the cheese and ham topping over the asparagus. Season with salt and pepper. Place bruschetta on baking sheet and broil just until cheese melts and begins to brown, about one – two minutes. Keep watch so as not to burn. Serve immediately. Serves 12 (three pieces per serving)

 

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