This recipe is part of Crispianity: a column devoted to all foods crispy and crunchy, two of the most underappreciated attributes of a great dish. Author Adeena Sussman is a food writer and recipe developer, pairing here with her photographer friend Evan Sung. Sussman’s most recent cookbook, coauthored with Lee Brian Schrager, is Fried and True: More Than 50 Recipes for America’s Best Fried Chicken and Sides.

When it comes to the crisp factor, few things match up to a well-made frico. Little more than grated cheese piled onto a baking sheet and heated into a lacy, crunchy round, it’s an Italian-restaurant staple that does double duty as a cracker. With spring (in theory) sprung, I wanted to integrate the freshness of young asparagus for a classic touch. What emerged was a combination of tender green spears with the bonus crunch of peppery toasted cheese. Eat it alone, pile some greens on top, or layer a piece of prosciutto on top. Frico-licious.