Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Asparagus Cheese Toasts

Serve these rich open face sandwiches at your next girl get-together. It’s a perfect dish for a luncheon or light supper and even better when cut into pieces for an appetizer. To make things even easier you can substitute with small “party” bread slices and use just the tips of the asparagus.

1 pound fresh asparagus spears, ends trimmed, cut to the same length as the bread
8 slices very thin sliced whole grain bread
Olive oil
8 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated, about 1 cup
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
6 ounces bacon, about 4 to 6 strips, cooked and crumbled
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Blanch the asparagus in salted boiling water until tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and cool under running water to room temperature. Pat dry and cut each one in half, lengthwise.

Brush both sides of the bread with olive oil. Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Brown the bread slices until golden, about 1 minute per side. Place each one onto a rimmed baking sheet.

Place the Gruyere cheese, mayonnaise, mustard and horseradish into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to mix thoroughly. Add the bacon, season with salt and pepper and pulse again to combine.

Preheat the oven to broil. Lay the asparagus onto the toast. Spread the cheese mixture over top. Broil until the toasts are golden and bubbling, about 4 to 6 minutes.

To serve, cut each toast into triangles.

Servings: 32 bite size toasts
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 4 to 6 minutes

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