by Della H. Harris
Fresh asparagus appearing in the grocery stores signals the beginning of the local produce market.
While asparagus is available all year round, you appreciate and look forward to the sweet, tender flavor from the "just plucked from the ground" variety. You know you'll buy a batch; now to decide how to cook it!
I'm almost embarrassed to share this recipe with you. It's as simple and easy as it gets -- deceptively so. So easy in fact, you'll wonder why you haven't tried creating this dish before.
You're guaranteed to hear plenty of "oo's" and "ah's" and "what makes this so good?" around the table.
The answer to what makes this dish so delicious? The asparagus turns out perfectly tender with a slight nutty flavor and the prosciutto crisps up nicely in the oven.
Asparagus Bundles Wrapped with Prosciutto
Prep time: 5 minutes | Total time: 20 minutes | Yield: 8 servings
• 1 to 1 1/2 pound of asparagus (about 24 stalks)
• olive oil
• salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 8 thin slices of prosciutto
Preheat the oven to 375° F. Trim the dry, woody stems off each asparagus.
Wrap a slice of prosciutto for every 3 large asparagus stalks. If the spears are smaller, include 5 in each bundle. Place on a baking sheet.
Drizzle lightly with olive oil. Roast for 12 to 15 minutes, until the asparagus is tender and the prosciutto is golden brown.
Cool to room temperature, sprinkle with fresh ground pepper and serve with lemon wedges.
Asparagus comes in all sizes, from slim, pencil-width stalks to big fat ones as thick as your thumb. While both can be fantastic, the different sizes lend themselves to different cooking techniques.
Thin spears (1/3 inch or less) tend to be more flavorful and a bit tougher. They're ideal for stir-frying or blanching and using in a salad.
Thick spears are more tender, but can become watery when boiled or steamed. Grilling, broiling, stir-frying and pan searing bring out their flavor best.
Have you made this dish? How did you like it?
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