Warm Asparagus And Bacon Toast, Red Pepper-Shallot Vinaigrette
- RED PEPPER-SHALLOT VINAIGRETTE:
- 12 ounces thin or medium asparagus trimmed
- 4 slices bacon halved crosswise
- 4 slices thick-crusted country bread, 3/4" thk
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 4 slices mozzarella or Monterey Jack
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup minced fresh chives
- 1/4 cup pitted kalamata or black olives chopped
- 3 shallots thinly sliced
- 1 red bell pepper roasted, peeled, and cut into thin strips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the asparagus on a baking sheet in 4 bunches of 4 or 5. Place 2 pieces of bacon over each bunch, forming an X. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the asparagus is partially cooked. Remove from the oven, leaving the oven on.
Lightly toast the bread in the oven. In a small bowl, combine the oil and garlic and brush on the bread. Transfer each bundle of asparagus and bacon to a slice of bread and top with a slice of cheese. Place on the baking sheet and bake for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
To serve, spoon 1/4 of the Red Pepper-Shallot Vinaigrette on each of 4 plates. Place a warm toast on each pool vinaigrette.
Red Pepper-Shallot Vinaigrette: In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Stir in the chives, olives, shallots, and bell pepper; set aside.
This recipe yields 4 appetizer servings.
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