White Asparagus Wrapped with Prosciutto and Parmesan

by Jeanne Benedict

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This simple appetizer recipe has become my favorite for dinner parties. The ingredients are few but the prep in wrapping the prosciutto and Parm around the white asparagus spears takes a little bit of time. I prefer white asparagus to green as the texture is much more velvety. Green asparagus always has that woody vibe.

White asparagus grows under ground and is never fully exposed to sunlight, therefore its chlorophyll isn’t activated by the photosynthesis process and it remains pristine and a little more protected from the elements. Why do I feel like I’m talking about a child? Throw them out into the world and they get a little tougher by virtue of dealing with harsh elements. A big left turn in a recipe headnote, I know, but an appropriate analogy nonetheless. Anyway, make this. You’ll love it.

White Asparagus Wrapped with Prosciutto and Parmesan

1 lb. (@25 spears) white asparagus
2 tablespoons olive oil
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4 oz. proscuitto, sliced thin
4 oz. Parmesan cheese, coarsely shredded

Rinse asparagus and trim about 1 inch off bottom of each spear. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place asparagus in single layer on sheet.

Sprinkle olive oil, lemon juice, and sea salt over asparagus and turn lightly to coat.

Cut proscuitto slices into 1-inch x 3-inch pieces.

To wrap each spear: Place prosciutto on a flat surface and sprinkle a few pieces of shredded Parmesan on top. Lay asparagus spear on prosciutto so tip extends a couple of inches beyond the edge. Wrap prosicutto around asparagus with cheese inside. Place spear back on baking sheet and sprinkle Parmesan on top to garnish. Repeat for remaining ingredients.

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cook wrapped asparagus for 5 to 8 minutes until cheese is melted and asparagus appears slightly roasted; don’t over cook as spears will shrivel.

Remove from oven and arrange on a serving platter. Serve immediately, nice and hot!

Makes about 25 spears

Photo credit: John Sparano, my sweet husband

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