Gourmet Asparagus Toast
I have this spice drawer in my kitchen that I’m in love with. It’s a wide drawer but very shallow with strips of wood running parallel to the door forming rows perfectly sized for the spice jars I can’t resist buying. Everything is organized alphabetically. Pretty much though, thyme, is where the drawer runs out of space. So I have another smaller one that contains the remaining alphabets. And then in another wide drawer I have spices in ziplock bags which I’ve bought in bulk. So yes, I love adding some spices to my cooking.
I think the reason I have so many spices is because when I don’t have a recipe to follow, I often cook by taste. Trying to recreate a powerful memory about the essence of the dish when I ate it last. Often this means I’m throwing in spices to see if it brings the dish any closer to my memory. Often this results in really odd tasting dishes.
This is how I normally cook: Cook by taste and Cook by recipe.
The recipe I’m sharing with you today is a completely new technique for me: Cook by picture.
While traveling over the Memorial Day vacation, I found myself in an airport waiting for my connecting flight. For this vacation, I had really decided to only connect with the internet and digital devices in general once a day. So to fight the urge to whip out my phone and check my email, send a tweet, or like something on Facebook, I grabbed my bags, my husband and headed into a little book-magazine store. Unfortunately, with the digital age, I don’t normally get time to just browse through a book store any more.. unless I happen to be stuck in a place.. like an airport. I know, I’m really missing out, but it is what it is.
Food magazines have become my favorite browsing material. So I flipped through most of the magazines that they had lined along the wall. Most of what I saw was drop dead gorgeous photography. However, most where recipes that were either so completely off my dietary needs or so complicated that I’m sure I’d need a test kitchen to be able to even attempt it. Not to mention a professional chef. LOL. But then I came across a photograph of the recipe I’m sharing today. I just was completely drawn in by the picture. The bread, spread cheese with asparagus was just so mouthwatering and fit just so perfectly into everything I love eating!
I don’t remember which magazine it was or the actual recipe or who took the picture. But that picture is still completely vivid in my mind. And that was what I was working with while trying to come up with this recipe. I’ve never tried to recreate a recipe from a photograph (that too one that I only have in my mind). Trying to remember if there were flakes of crushed pepper on top.. or the thickness of the creamy cheese spread over the crusty bread.. or the way the arugula delicately lingered and wrapped the asparagus. It was quite an amazing experience. And the outcome was a simple, elegant dish that I ate about 3 times for dinner in a single week. 😀
Have you ever cooked by picture?
PS – I’m at Blog Her Food in Seattle this weekend! Ping me via twitter if you’re attending — would love to meet in person!
Gourmet Asparagus Toast
Makes: 1 serving
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Ready in: 15 minutes
- 2 slices of toast
- about 2 tablespoons of goat cheese (the one I used had some herbs in it)
- 2 – 4 stalks of asparagus
- less than a handful of arugula leaves
- 2 small radish
2. Toast the bread. Slice the radish.
3. Boil the asparagus for just a few minutes in the water. They should still be crunchy.
4. Spread the goat cheese on the toast. Layer on the radish, arugula leaves and asparagus slices on top. Sprinkle with sea salt and fresh ground pepper.