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Hello sunshine! That’s what you’re going to say to this flavorful springtime asparagus bruschetta with lemon cilantro vinaigrette after that first delicious bite. Why would you say that to an appetizer? Because if you could taste sunshine, this would be it.
We all love fresh asparagus, and now that it’s in season again, you can find it in abundance at your local supermarket. I found a huge bag full of perfect spears at Walmart the other day while I was shopping for foam board. I grabbed a bag of asparagus, some yellow tomatoes, lemons, and a package of Wasa Multi-Grain crackers to make a fresh and healthy snack for my husband and me.
I had been craving bruschetta, but wanted a lightened up version that wouldn’t weigh us down before our evening P90X workout. That’s why I chose Wasa crackers instead of bread. One big cracker is only forty-five calories and it has twelve grams of perfectly blended grains (rye, wheat, oats, barley) in each one. What more could you ask for? Low calorie, light, crisp, and good carbs that would give us energy to make it through an hour of intense exercise. Perfect.
When I got home from running errands I roasted the asparagus, toasted the crackers, diced some tomatoes, and whipped up the lemon cilantro dressing. It took me a total of twenty minutes to make this colorful, healthy, and delicious appetizer, and only two minutes to eat them.
The vinaigrette recipe in this dish is so bright and tangy, it complements the umami flavor of the roasted asparagus and the sweet tomatoes so beautifully. And, it doesn’t have a drop of oil in it, so you only taste the freshness of the lemon and the cilantro.
The crisp cracker is the perfect texture to anchor the topping. It’s solid enough that it won’t fall apart, but not so hard that it shatters when you take a bite. You’ll absolutely love how the dressing soaks into the center of the cracker, giving it a chewy and crispy bite.
That big batch of asparagus bruschetta with lemon cilantro vinaigrette was so satisfying, we finished off the rest of it for dinner along with a big salad.
To make this easy, quick, springtime appetizer you only need six ingredients (not including basic staples such as, salt, pepper, and sugar) and twenty minutes.
Wasa Multi-Grain Crackers
Extra Virgin Olive oil (optional)
Prepare the asparagus and roast it, dice and seed the tomatoes, toast the crackers, make the vinaigrette, mix the topping together, top the crackers, sprinkle vegan parmesan on top, and eat.
This beautiful appetizer would be perfect for your next get together, for a light dinner or lunch, or for a snack. Use your imagination, the sky’s the limit.
Do you love bruschetta as much as I do?
Are you excited about asparagus season?
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Asparagus Bruschetta with Lemon Cilantro Vinaigrette
- 1 pound of fresh asparagus – snap or cut off the ends
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil optional
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup of vegan parmesan cheese
- 2 large yellow tomatoes or color of choice – seeded and diced
- For the dressing:
- Juice from one large lemon
- 1/4 cup of packed cilantro leaves - chopped
- 2 tablespoons of water
- 1/4 teaspoon of sugar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 12 Wasa Multi Grain Crackers
- Preheat the oven to 375° and line a baking pan with parchment paper
- Wash and snap the tough ends of the asparagus off of the spears and place evenly on the baking sheet. Drizzle one teaspoon of olive oil (or squeeze lemon juice over if you don’t cook with oil) over the spears and grind salt and pepper over them to taste. Use a spatula to roll the spears to coat evenly. Roast for 10 minutes and carefully roll the spears around in the pan. Roast for 5 more minutes or until they are easy to pierce and slightly browned on the edges. Cool.
- While the asparagus is roasting put the crackers on a baking sheet and brush a thin layer of olive oil (optional) on top of each one. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of vegan parmesan cheese and toast for 2 to 3 minutes or until they begin to brown.
- Dice and seed the tomatoes and diagonally slice the asparagus spears into 1/2 inch pieces.
- Place the asparagus and tomato in a large bowl.
- For the salad dressing:
- In a blender or with a whisk, combine the lemon juice, cilantro, water, sugar, salt, and pepper until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Pour into the bowl with the asparagus and tomato and toss to coat.
- Top the crackers with the asparagus mixture, sprinkle with more vegan parmesan cheese, and garnish with cilantro.