So yesterday it was 70* here, and my spring checklist was in full force.
Robin in the backyard? Check.
Tulip buds poking through the ground? Check.
Obligatory Minnesotan in shorts, sandals, and a tank top? Check.
The kids and I spent the morning at Como Zoo along with every other family of preschool-aged kids in the metro area. And I ended the day by having dinner on a !patio! with a good friend. I kind of felt like I was giving Spring a hug the entire day, and it was fantastic.
And then I saw that my grocery store had asparagus on sale. Now you know as well as I do that asaparagus really isn’t in season. In fact, this particular asparagus came from California, I think. But you know what? Legit spring – the spring in which green and delicious items of every variety grow from our very own Midwestern ground – is coming. And I want you to be ready for it.
As I stood in the grocery aisle, placing a happy bunch of asparagus in my cart, I started thinking about what I wanted to do with it. Some of it will be straight-up grilled like asparagus was meant to be. But in the back of my mind I remembered pinning this little gem of a recipe a couple of years ago. So, right there and then in the grocery store, I started dreaming up an easy open-faced melt of asparagus with melty cheese…and then I imagined bacon and knew what we’d be having for Easter brunch.
That’s it. Toasted bread. Crispy bacon. Roasted asparagus. All covered in melty, broiled cheese. And the best part? You’re like ten minutes away from stuffing this goodness in your mouth like I immediately did after taking these pictures.
Spring. It’s happening. Get into it.
(recipe from Carpé Season)
(yields 1 melt, easy multiplied)
An easy open-faced melt of crispy bacon, roasted asparagus, and melty gouda on toasted sourdough.
2 slices bacon, cooked crisp
4 thin asparagus spears, ends trimmed
1 tablespoon. olive oil
2 ounces gouda or gruyére cheese, grated
1 slice sourdough bread
app. 2 teaspoons butter
Cook the Bacon:
Cut strips of bacon in half and cook until crisp. Drain on a paper-towel-lined plate.
Roast the Asparagus:
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400*. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place asparagus spears on the baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Use your fingers to help coat the spears completely. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper. (I know it's standard to use salt too when roasting asparagus, but by eliminating the salt in this step, it keeps the overall melt from being too salty!)
Roast for 6-10 minutes (time will vary depending on thickness of spears) until asparagus is slightly browned in spots and fork-tender. Remove from baking sheet and cut in half once cool enough to handle.
Assemble & Broil the Melts:
Heat broiler on high. Butter one side of the sourdough bread slice. Place butter side-down on your broiler tray (I like to line mine with foil for easier cleanup). Place 1/4 of your grated cheese on the bread to act as "glue." Then place 2 bacon strips and 4 asparagus halves on each slice. Top with remaining cheese. Broil (as close to the flame as you can) for about 2 minutes until cheese is melty and slightly browned in some spots. Eat immediately.