Spring is finally here after a very long winter so it’s time to celebrate! How about we start the season with a simple recipe involving some fresh seasonal greens?
I was in Washington DC with my boyfriend for Easter a couple of weeks ago and I was lucky enough to enjoy spring at its best: a sunny, warm weather with a refreshing cool & crisp air, and beautiful green nature with cherry blossoms everywhere. Having just flown in from Sweden, it was like rebirth!
Unfortunately, I couldn’t fly back to Sweden as originally planned since my flight via Brussels airport got cancelled due to the sad events we are all aware of. Since I had to stay a few more days in the US before taking the next available flight, I decided to travel to our home in Chicago, where my boyfriend has been living for the last few months.
For adventure’s sake and based on a crazy idea (and a lot of persuasion) from my boyfriend, we took the Amtrak Capitol Limited train to travel the 600 miles which separate Chicago from DC, for a long 18-hour journey. As you might imagine, we got to see a lot on the way, enjoying the landscape, forgotten cities, and a beautiful sunrise in the Indiana countryside. After all, it’s quite a unique way to visit the US!
Once we arrived in Chicago, I noticed the city was still to grips with winter. The weather was still cold and we even had snow flurries! But it was too late for me: my mind had already switched into spring mode already! Then I saw this beautiful cooking magazine with a fresh tartine with greens on the cover. Inspired by the idea, I bought the magazine straight away, went home and opened the magazine to look for the recipe.
But oh! surprise: the recipe of the cover was nowhere to be found inside the magazine. Rather, they just put the recipe of a sourdough bread. Hmmm, quite disappointing although exciting at the same time: I love cooking challenges! So I glanced long and hard at the picture again, thought a little bit and minted this recipe you are now reading. It’s a very easy one that will totally put you into spring mood for good!
A little bit later, we got to try these tartines with my boyfriend; I didn’t expect any special reaction from him since it’s just a slice of bread after all. But he totally loved it, found it extremely tasty and healthy, and was still talking about it a few hours later. Sometimes, you don’t need to spend hours in the kitchen to impress your loved ones: just choose some fresh seasonal ingredients, and put them together on a generous slice of bread with the usual drizzle of olive oil!
- 4 slices bread, ½-inch thick
- ½ cup (125g) fresh ricotta cheese
- 1 handful asparagus (4-6 stalks), cut lengthwise
- 1 small handful radish (4-6 radishes), sliced
- 10 oz (300g) broad beans + extra for topping
- ¼ cup (50g) grated parmesan
- 4 tbsp extra olive oil
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 handful basil leaves (about 12 leaves)
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- Salt & ground pepper, to taste
- Cook asparagus in boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes. Take them out, drain and plunge into ice-cold water. Reserve.
- Cook broad beans in boiling water for about 5 minutes. Drain, empty into cold water, slit each pod along its seam and run your thumb along the furry inside to push the beans out.
- In a food processor, combine together podded beans, crushed garlic, grated Parmesan, olive oil, basil and fresh lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.
- Put 4 slices of bread in a baking tray, covered with parchment paper. Drizzle some olive oil on top and bake on the grill position for about 5 minutes, until golden-brown.
- Spread ricotta cheese on the tartines, and bake for 3 more minutes at 350 F (180 C).
- Put the bean pesto on top of the lukewarm ricotta cheese tartine, and top with asparagus, broad beans and sliced radishes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.