Crostini Two Ways: Cauliflower Crostini and Crostini Topped with Ricotta and Roasted Asparagus

Cauliflower, Crostini, Appetizer, Puree, It’s springtime summer (Freudian slip, much? I meant “somewhere”), but it certainly feels light years away here in Cleveland. The weather is going through some mood issues right now—it’s cold, it’s icy, it’s warm-enough-to-rain (please, it’s never warm-enough-for-rain but sunny instead), it’s snowy, it’s frigid, it’s…it’s just enough, already.

Baguette, Crostini, Sliced, Toast

That’s why we decided to have a summer-themed soirre. And when I say soiree, I mean a small neighborhood gathering with the same couple who came to our door when we first moved in, brownies in hand. (Yes, we’ve been friends ever since.)Cauliflower, Puree, Curry, Turmeric

But what should I make? Caprese salad was out, as tomatoes are not looking their best. Watermelon feta salad was out too, as once again, the watermelons are in hiding. They’re probably in Phoenix, soaking up some rays. I very much wanted some nice bruschetta, but see note above about the tomatoes.Cauliflower, Puree, Crostini, Bell Pepper, Roasted, Garlic, Appetizer

So, I had to settle.  I settled with a cousin to bruschetta: crostini. It’s really the same idea, after all. Toasted bread and an inventive spread of some sort…really, they’re practically sisters.

So, I made two types of crostini: one with a smoothly decadent cauliflower puree and the other topped with rich ricotta and roasted asparagus left over from our dinner the night before (shh…don’t tell!). Crostini, Ricotta, Asparagus, Roasted, AppetizerBen tightly wrapped up these bruschetta-cousins/sisters, and we walked carefully to our friends’ home, where I immediately swapped my wool socks for some sexy flip flops (because yes, this far into the winter, showing a little toe is just plain scandalous), and checked to make sure my crostini had survived the treacherous block. Thank goodness they had. But really, if they hadn’t, at least I could’ve flaunted my scantily-clad toes and enjoyed myself.

Cauliflower Crostini (adapted from Frank Stitt’s Bottega Favorites)

Note: Don’t fear when you look at the pictures. I doubled this recipe.


  • 8 slices (1/2 thick; 2 inches long) focaccia, baguette, or other crusty bread
  • 5 Tabl extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 head cauliflower
  • 1/2 head roasted garlic (see roasting garlic note)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Dash of hot sauce
  • 4 roasted red bell peppers
  • 1 Tabl Curry
  • 1 1/2 tsp Turmeric


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Brush the slices of bread with olive oil. Arrange on baking sheet and toast in the oven until crsip (8-10 minutes). Set aside.

Trim the cauliflower and separate it into large florets. Slice 1/4 of the florets into thin slices and set aside.

Steam the remaining florets in a steamer basket over boiling water until soft; about 12 minutes.

Transfer the steamed cauliflower to a food processor, add the roasted garlic, salt, pepper, hot sauce, curry, and tumeric and puree until smooth. Add the olive oil until smooth. Taste, and adjust the seasonings.

Smooth a layer of the cauliflower purree on each toast. Top with roasted red peppers and raw cauliflower slices.

[Note: Roasting Garlic: Cut of the top 1/4 inch of one or more bulbs of garlic. Wrap each one in aluminum foil; drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast in 325 degree oven for about 45 minutes, or until the cloves are soft but not mushy. Let cool, then squeeze out the pulp. I usually do this when I am roasting other veggies (so, if you need to roast the asparagus in the below recipe, do this and the toast…multi-task!)]

Crostini Topped with Ricotta and Roasted Asparagus (adopted from nowhere)


  • 16 slices (about 1/2 inch thick; 2 inches long) focaccia, baguette, or other crusty bread
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 cup ricotta
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 8 spears roasted asparagus (or any other roasted vegetable will do)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Brush the slices of bread with 1 tsp olive oil. Arrange on baking sheet and toast in the oven until crsip (8-10 minutes). Set aside.

Meanwhile, add ricotta, remaining olive oil, and all spices in a small bowl. Mix until combined.

Slice roasted asparagus into bite-size pieces on a diagonal.

Smooth a layer of ricotta on each toast. Add 3-4 pieces of asparagus.

Yellow, Rose, Flower, Kitchen Window


About Abelfam

New mom and dad to-be!
This entry was posted in Appetizer, Asparagus, Cauliflower, Crostini, Minimal Work, Ricotta and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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