To build your off-the-cuff kitchen repertoire, take cues from the flavor combinations in The Creative Cook Menu .
- 1 thick slice crusty bread or 3 thick slices baguette cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 pound asparagus spears , trimmed
- 4 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 3 ounces fresh goat cheese , crumbled
- Zest of 1 lemon , removed in long, thin strips
Arrange asparagus on sheet. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons olive oil, and season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Roast, rolling asparagus over once or twice, until just tender, 12 to 14 minutes; transfer to a large platter.
Sprinkle lemon juice over asparagus, then scatter bread crumbs on top. Drizzle remaining olive oil; top with goat cheese and lemon zest. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Extra idea: These flavors would also work together harmoniously as a canapé—the goat cheese spread thin on crustless bread, the asparagus steamed and sliced thin, the lemon zest curled on top.