July Foodie Extra: Abbi Merriss’s Grilled Leek & Asparagus Bruschetta

This is the perfect summer appetizer: quick to assemble, and using fresh produce you can find at local farmers markets.

Our July Foodie, Abbie Merriss of Bluebeard, shares her recipe for Grilled Leek & Asparagus Bruschetta.

Two quick ingredient notes:

  1. Saint-André is a French triple crème cheese, similar to Brie. It is available in many super markets in the same location as Brie. If you can’t find Saint-André (available at Whole Foods), a triple crème Brie will also be delicious.
  2. Saba vinegar is a sweet Italian syrup, similar to a balsamic glaze. You can often find it in grocery stores with  other specialty vinegars. If not, substitute a balsamic glaze or good balsamic vinegar.


  • 7 ounces Saint-André cheese (or a triple crème Brie cheese)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 leeks (white parts only, washed)
  • 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon course sea salt
  • Saba vinegar* (or balsamic vinegar)
  • Loaf of good, thick French bread (Merriss prefers Amelia’s Bakery semolina or country bread)


  • Cut cheese in cubes and set aside in medium bowl so it will soften and warm up slightly.
  • Cut bread into 1/2-inch slices. Drizzle with olive oil and grill (or cook on stove top in flat pan) until slightly brown in spots. Flip and repeat.
  • Set bread aside.
  • Add 1/4-cup heavy cream to cheese in bowl. Combine and whip until as smooth as you can get it. (This will not be perfectly smooth. Just mix it well enough so there is no runny cream left in the bowl.) Set aside.
  • Grill the asparagus and leeks until charred in spots. (Can be done on the stove top in a flat cast-iron pan)
  • Cut the grilled leeks and asparagus into small pieces and combine. (Small pieces are best, to make them easier to bite into on the bruschetta).
  • Spread cheese on the grilled bread. Top with asparagus and leeks. Drizzle with vinegar and sprinkle with salt.