Firstly: how flippin’ sophisticated do I look with this recipe?!
(…I’m aware that I’ve probably just ruined it)
Secondly: I’m on a mission to use more ingredients. Not more ingredients per recipe – don’t worry, I’m aware that you guys are almost as lazy as I am when it comes to cooking. No, I just mean more ingredients in general. I often gravitate towards the same flavour combinations, but I want to branch out a bit and try using ingredients that I don’t usually go for – and also to make some dishes that I wouldn’t usually think to make.
So, here’s my first attempt: watercress and goat’s cheese crostini with asparagus and radishes! I don’t usually use radishes (there’s only one radish recipe on the blog, in fact), or watercress (ditto!) – but since they’re both perfectly in season at the moment, I thought I’d use them to make a light dish that’s perfect for summer (along with a couple of old favourite ingredients, asparagus and goat’s cheese… come on, I’m not going to change overnight).
I’ve had a bag of crostini in the cupboard for ages, waiting for inspiration to strike, but if your kitchen is less over-stocked than mine (i.e. if you’ve had a clear out any time in the last 5 years), you can easily make your own crostini. Just take a thin baguette, cut it into thin slices, and lightly toast each slice on both sides. Your crostini won’t end up quite as crunchy as my shop-bought version, but they’ll be just as tasty. They’re extra special if you rub them with a bit of garlic before grilling!
Blend together some soft goat’s cheese and watercress to create a light and fresh-tasting spread to top the crostini, then add some roasted asparagus and wafer-thin slices of radish. The mild, peppery flavour of the radish goes really well with the watercress spread – not to mention the fact that radishes are absolutely stunning! That tiny pop of pink goes a long way.
I only used the tips of my asparagus because they’re the prettiest part (I kept the stalks to use for something different), but if you’d prefer, you can use the entire spear, cut into chunks. Whatever floats your boat. Either way, you’ll end up with adorable little summery bites.
Since I’m not really one for posh dinner parties (<– understatement alert), we scoffed the whole plate of these for lunch one day, but I’m sure you guys are much more sophisticated than me, and would serve these alongside champagne, perhaps wearing ball gowns and bow ties – right?
- ~ 25 spears of asparagus, tips only (or fewer whole spears)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Black pepper
- 20 g watercress (~ 1 cup) - plus a little more for garnish
- 50 g soft goat's cheese (~ 2tbsp)
- ~25 bite-sized crostini
- 3 radishes, thinly sliced
Heat the oven to 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F). Toss the asparagus in the olive oil with some salt and pepper, and spread it out on a baking tray. Roast for around 20 minutes, until tender. Set aside.
Meanwhile, add the watercress to a mini food processor, and blitz until well chopped. Add the goat's cheese, and blitz again until a smooth spread is formed. Season to taste.
Spread each crostini with a little of the goat's cheese spread, and top with a piece of asparagus, a very thin slice of radish, and a few small watercress leaves to garnish.
Serve lightly chilled.
Note: nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose.
Got a few radishes left over? Try roasting them!