Asparagus and Leeks on toast


by: Cooking Bird

Here is a vegetable-intense supper—good toast smothered with a stew of tender new asparagus with spring leeks, green garlic, and young spinach—the result of a spring farmers' market visit. If you've only got asparagus and leeks to cook with, do so. If there are peas or fava beans around, include them, too. If there isn’t any green garlic, well, so be it. Omit the cheese, use olive oil instead of butter, and the dish is vegan. An Australian Sémillon or even a simple fruity red wine, such as a Cabernet Franc from the Loire Valley, served slightly chilled, can stand up to the asparagus.


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serves: 2

1 1/2 pounds asparagus (the top 5 inches or so, peeled if thick)

5 teaspoons butter

2 skinny leeks (white parts only, thinly sliced into rounds and rinsed)

1-2 small heads of green garlic (peeled and finely diced)

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

4 handfuls of young spinach (leaves)

fresh lemon juice or white wine vinegar to taste

3 slices whole wheat levain or country bread

thinly sliced Italian Fontina cheese

Nutrition Facts
Asparagus and Leeks on toast

Servings Per Recipe: 2

Amount per Serving

Calories: 341

  • Total Fat: 12 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 6.7 g
  •     Trans Fat: 0.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 25.6 mg
  • Sodium: 357.1 mg
  • Total Carbs: 48.8 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 13.1 g
  •     Sugars: 12.6 g
  • Protein: 16.8 g

how is this calculated?

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1.  Soak the asparagus for 5 minutes or so to dislodge any sand that might be hiding in the tips, then give it a rinse.

2.  Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a medium skillet. Add the leeks and green garlic, stir to coat well, cook for a minute or so, then add 1/2 cup water or a splash of white wine and cook over medium-low heat for about 3 minutes. Add the asparagus, season with 1/2 teaspoon salt, and add another 1/2 cup water. Simmer until the asparagus is tender, about 8 minutes, adding water as needed in small increments so that you’re left with about 1/2 cup pan juices.

3.  Add the spinach and the last bit of butter. Raise the heat a little and cook until the spinach is wilted. Taste for salt, season with pepper, and add a few drops of lemon juice to sharpen the flavors.

4.  Toast the bread, then cover with the thin slices of cheese. Slice each piece in half diagonally and arrange 3 pieces on 2 plates. Spoon the vegetables over all, along with their juices, and serve.

Cooks' note:
Only the tips and first 5 inches of the asparagus are used, so plan to use the remainder, plus any of your vegetable trimmings, to make a delicious soup stock. Soak the asparagus tips while you prep everything else, then cook the vegetables and make the toast.

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