This simple Asparagus Toast recipe is an easy-breezy Springtime appetizer! Creamy lemon whipped ricotta is slathered on grilled bread and topped with lightly charred asparagus, fresh herbs and a drizzle of balsamic glaze! It’s a quick and delicious recipe that is perfect for a healthy lunch, happy hour at home, dinner party snacks or as a passed appetizer! Keep reading to learn how to make whipped ricotta, and how to assemble this scrumptious toast!
Ingredients for this Recipe
This Whipped Ricotta & Grilled Asparagus Toast recipe comes together with just a handful of basic ingredients!
- Baguette – We like to use baguette for it’s hearty chew and perfectly-sized slices! Ciabatta or focaccia bread could make lovely substitutions!
- Ricotta Cheese – Choose a high-quality whole milk ricotta for the creamiest results!
- Asparagus – Fresh asparagus is the star of this beautiful recipe!
- Lemon – Lemon pairs so well with creamy ricotta cheese and fresh vegetables. Lemon juice and zest adds just the touch of vibrant acidity this yummy recipe needs!
- Olive Oil – Olive oil is used for grilling asparagus and adding a little rich flavor to the Whipped Ricotta
- Fresh Mint or Basil – These yummy green herbs are the perfect seasonal garnish for this Asparagus Toast! Use either, or both!
- Balsamic Vinegar – Balsamic vinegar is transformed into a sweet and tangy reduction that goes perfectly with grilled asparagus (and basically everything else!) Read more about choosing the best balsamic below!
- Salt & Pepper – Season to taste with flaky salt and fresh cracked peppercorns!
How To Make Whipped Ricotta
Whipped Ricotta is a super simple process that only takes a few minutes and results in the creamiest of spreads! Ricotta cheese is a fresh Italian whey cheese that can be made from sheep, cow, buffalo or goat’s milk. In the United States, the ricotta cheese commonly found in grocery stores is made from cow’s milk. We recommend using whole milk ricotta because it is much creamier and richer than reduced fat ricotta. Reduced fat (otherwise known as part-skim) ricotta can be used, but tends to be grainy in texture.
Choose a high-quality ricotta cheese. Ricotta made from cow, sheep, buffalo, or goat’s milk would all be delicious for this recipe, though each will have a slightly different flavor. If your ricotta cheese is loose, or appears to have additional liquid in the container, we recommend straining the cheese before whipping. To strain the cheese, simply put the ricotta in a fine mesh strainer (or several layers of cheese cloth) suspended over a bowl to catch the dripping whey. Then, allow the ricotta cheese to strain for 5 – 10 minutes until much or the liquid has been strained away. You should be left with fairly dry curds of creamy ricotta cheese.
- To whip the ricotta, add the strained cheese to a food processor fitted with the blade attachment.
- For this recipe, add olive oil, lemon juice and zest to the food processor, as well. (For other variations of whipped ricotta, feel free to experiment with adding fresh chopped herbs, garlic or other soft cheeses to the mix instead. The possibilities are endless and infinitely delicious!)
- Whip ricotta on high speed for 1 – 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the food processor, as necessary. Once finished, the whipped ricotta will be aerated and silky smooth.
Other Uses for Whipped Ricotta
Whipped ricotta can be used for so much more than just Asparagus Toast! We love snacking on Whipped Ricotta as a dip with raw veggies, crackers or breadsticks. Whipped Ricotta can also make for a delicious addition to deli sandwiches, wraps and paninis. Furthermore, we love to serve whipped ricotta beneath a bed of pasta. The ricotta cheese will melt into your warm pasta and create a rich, creamy sauce right in your bowl! It’s so good! Try it with some spaghetti next time you use our Homemade Semolina Pasta Dough Recipe! It’s so simple and SO yummy!
Fire Up the Grill
The key to getting those flawless grill marks without burning your bread or overcooking your asparagus is super high heat! Turn your gas grill up to it’s highest setting. Then, make sure you allow the grill to preheat for, at least, ten minutes. The grates of your grill will become smoking hot so make sure the grates have been scraped clean and are free from build-up. Once preheated, place your bread on the grill directly over the flames. While grilling, keep a close eye not to burn anything – both the bread and the asparagus will cook very quickly. For the asparagus, make sure to place the spears perpendicular to the grill’s grates. This will help to get those beautiful charred grill marks and keep you from losing and asparagus to the fire below!
How To Make Balsamic Glaze (Reduction)
Balsamic glaze is a sweet, tangy, stick condiment made from just one ingredient – balsamic vinegar! This glaze has a perfect balance of sweetness and acidity that makes it an incredible finishing touch for Whipped Ricotta & Grilled Asparagus Toast and tons of other dishes! (Try it on our Never Better Sun-Dried Tomato Alfredo with Chicken Recipe! It’s so good!)
We recommend investing in a high-quality balsamic vinegar, whenever possible. Balsamic vinegar that is labeled from originating from Modena or Reggio Emilia, Italy is usually testament to high-quality production. However, more generally speaking, try to avoid balsamic vinegars that have additives such as sugar or caramel color or flavorings. These less-expensive vinegars are typically watered down and will result in a much smaller yield of balsamic glaze. For more information regarding purchasing quality balsamic, check out this great How to Buy Balsamic Vinegar article from Eataly Magazine.
This reduction sauce can be made with any amount of balsamic vinegar you chose. For this recipe, the suggested amount of balsamic vinegar will result in about four tablespoons, once reduced. If you can, we recommend dedicating an entire bottle of balsamic vinegar to be reduced into a glaze. The leftover glaze can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two months.
- To prepare the balsamic vinegar reduction, add balsamic to a small, shallow pan and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer and cook until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 15 -20 minutes or until the balsamic has reduced to about one-fourth it’s original volume. Remove from the heat and set aside. The vinegar will continue to thicken as it cools.
Share Your Success!
Enjoy your delicious Whipped Ricotta & Grilled Asparagus Toast! This recipe is great for Spring flings and Summer barbecues! Scott and I love to use this easy recipe when entertaining in our own home. This recipe is a delicious appetizer to offer your guests while they enjoy a cocktail or glass of wine. When this recipe makes its way to your table, be sure to drop us a comment below! And, as always, tag @foodworthfeed in your Instagram posts and stories. We’d can’t wait to feature your creations! We love having a seat at your table, you’ll always have one at ours!Print
Check out these other scratch recipes designed for entertaining guests and spectacular dinner parties!