Roasted Asparagus and Fresh Herb Grilled Cheese
In this brightly flavored, colorful sandwich, a little soft ricotta helps make the mix of mozzarella and Parmigiano more cohesive and evenly dispersed. Though it features three fresh herbs, you can use just two or even one in a pinch.
- ROASTED ASPARAGUS:
- 8 thick asparagus spears, tough ends trimmed
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper
- 4 ounce mozzarella, coarsely grated, about 1-1/4 cups
- 1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano, coarsely grated, about 1/4 cup
- 2 tablespoons whole-milk ricotta
- 1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, chopped finely
- 1 1/2 teaspoon mint, chopped finely
- 1 1/2 teaspoon basil, chopped finely
- 1/2 teaspoon rinsed capers, rinsed and chopped finely
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 4 slices olive bread, cut 1/2 inch thick, preferably from a boule
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Adapted from finecooking.com
Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F.
Cut the asparagus on a sharp angle into 2-inch pieces (if very thick, halve lengthwise first). Toss with 1 Tbs. of the oil on a small rimmed baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper and roast until tender, 7 to 9 minutes. Set aside to cool.
In a small bowl, combine the cheeses and a pinch of pepper. In another small bowl, toss the herbs with the capers, 1 Tbs. of the oil, the garlic, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt.
Divide the cheese mixture evenly among the 4 slices of bread. Top two slices with the asparagus and then the herb-garlic mixture. Top with the other slices of bread to make two sandwiches.
Heat a griddle or 12-inch heavy-duty skillet over medium-low heat. Brush one side of each sandwich with olive oil, put in the pan oiled side down, and then brush the other side with oil. Cook, pressing lightly on the sandwiches with a spatula, until golden brown on one side, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook until the cheese has melted and the other side is golden brown, another 2 to 3 minutes. Allow the sandwiches to sit for about 1 minute before slicing in half and serving.