by Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime
Spring weather has definitely arrived (at least where I live). And with that comes the annual drop in price of asparagus spears, which are one of my favorite vegetables. It has a mild, fresh flavor, which is easily jazzed up with something like prosciutto (an Italian ham) and of course, garlic! The prosciutto can usually be found near the deli section, packaged in paper-thin slices or chopped into a fine dice. You will want to have the thin slices for this, which we will be wrapping around the spears.
The asparagus themselves should be nicely fresh. Avoid asparagus that looks very dry at the cut end, and likewise, any whose tips feel mushy. An average thickness is a good choice for these, as thin ones use too much ham and the thick ones become a bit much with the ham wrapped. To prep your asparagus, rinse them off under cool water, then just take each end and bend the spear until it snaps at a natural point. Discard the end tips from that, as the place where it snaps divides the woody, fibrous part of the vegetable from the tender green.
Asparagus with Crispy Garlic Prosciutto
- 3/4 pound fresh asparagus spears, trimmed
- 8 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
- 3 cloves garlic, sliced
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- black pepper
- Trim asparagus and set aside.
- Cut prosciutto slices in half lengthwise, so that each piece is about the size of a deck of cards.
- Roll each asparagus spear up with a piece of prosciutto; the tackiness of it will keep it from unrolling.
- Heat oil and butter in a large nonstick skillet and add garlic slices, cooking until garlic becomes slightly golden.
- Add asparagus to the pan in a single layer and cook, about 5-7 minutes, until spears are as tender as you like (there is widespread opinion on cooking time so just cut a piece and taste), turning the asparagus over as it cooks to brown all sides, seasoning with black pepper to taste as it cooks. The prosciutto is salty so be careful if adding that.
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