Monday, 10 June 2013

Curried Asparagus Crostini

Have I persuaded you to start a book club yet?  This remains a rare treasure on our busy calendar of activities: a night just for moms.  Our most recent meeting was to discuss the wonderful book Bel Canto.  Set in South America, it brings together citizens of multiple countries to endure a hostage situation.  I won't reveal any more of the plot, just trust me that it is well worth the read.  I loved how the book drew me in and made me feel as though I was a hostage myself.  Hearing what the other ladies thought of the characters and the ending made for some lively discussion when we met.

When coming up with a menu for our meeting, I initially thought foods from around the world would make a good menu.  That idea quickly morphed into one of fusing together flavours and recipes from different countries, much like the characters in the book who are forced together.  Every dish was a hit but my favourite of the night was the Curried Asparagus Crostini.  Maybe because it used fresh local asparagus; or perhaps because I've never had curried vegetables on toast.  I've linked all the recipes I used below, as I've had a few requests for the menu.  The crostini and taquitos were my own creation so no link love for them.  All of the components to the crostini can be made a day or two in advance, making it ideal party food.  Just assemble right before, or as your guests arrive.

Recipes from the menu:
Horcheta de Arroz (subbed maple syrup for the sugar)
Kimchi Gazpacho
Eggplant Parmigiana Empanada (I was shocked how good these were)
Chocolate Chili Donuts

Curried Asparagus Crostini

1 bunch asparagus, washed and cut into bite size pieces
1 large Vidalia onion, chopped
4 Tbsp coconut oil (divided)
1/4 cup Greek plain yogurt
2 tsp garam masala (divided)
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp turmeric
One loaf crusty, seedy bread, sliced.
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic
For the yogurt spread, combine 1 tsp garam masala, turmeric, salt and yogurt in a small bowl.  Set aside for flavours to combine.  Minimum 30min, and up to a day ahead
In a cast iron pan, melt coconut oil on medium heat.  Add onions and lower heat.  Stirring every 5-10 min, continue cooking for 30min, until caramelized.  If they begin to stick to your pan, add a little water and allow to evaporate.  In last five minutes, sprinkle 1 tsp of garam masala on onions.  Remove from pan.
Melt second 2Tbsp of coconut oil over medium-high heat in same pan. Add asparagus and saute for 5-10min, until vegetables are softened and slightly browned.  Reserve.
Preheat oven to 400degrees.  Brush both sides of bread with olive oil and lay on a metal baking sheet.  Toast in oven about 5min per side.  Immediately rub toasts with garlic clove when out of the oven.  Allow to cool on baking rack until ready to assemble.
To assemble: spread about 1tsp of yogurt mix on each crostini and top with some onions and asparagus.  Serve immediately, so crostini doesn't get too soggy.  Could be made 30min prior to start of party (max).


  1. Fun! Aren't book clubs and the food that goes along with them amazing!

    1. sometimes I don't know what is better: the food or the book!