Love and Olive Oil

Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus Bundles

We made these to go along with our spring green salad. Maybe not the best combination, but it worked. I think these are meant to be served as a side/appetizer for like an easter brunch or something. They sure make an impressive presentation.

They were quite good, we’ll definitely be making them again, but they were a bit on the salty side though. Next time we would not salt the asparagus or the breadcrumbs, since the prosciutto adds more than enough saltyness. We might even wrap each bundle with just one slice of prosciutto instead of two.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus Bundles
Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus Bundles

Makes 8 servings. Recipe from Michael Chiarello.

Unsalted butter, for baking dish
1 large bunch asparagus, about 1 1/2 pounds, trimmed to even lengths and blanched for 4 minutes in boiling, salted water
Gray salt and freshly ground pepper
Seasoned bread crumbs, recipe follows
8 thin slices prosciutto
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Seasoned Bread Crumbs:
1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup fine dried bread crumbs
Pinch gray salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Butter a shallow baking dish that is long enough to hold the asparagus. Season the asparagus with salt and pepper, to taste.

To make the seasoned bread crumbs, heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Tilt the pan and then add the minced garlic and saute briefly until pale gold. Add the bread crumbs, season with salt and pepper, and lower the heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the bread crumbs are toasted, about 3 minutes. Pour into a small bowl and add the parsley, lemon zest, and Parmesan. Toss well. (The crumbs keep, tightly sealed and refrigerated, for several days.)

Divide the asparagus into 8 equal bundles. Arrange 2 slices of the prosciutto on a work surface so they slightly overlap each other. Place an asparagus bundle on top and roll up carefully in the prosciutto. Arrange in the prepared baking dish. Flatten the top of each bundle slightly and sprinkle with 1/4 of the seasoned bread crumbs. Drizzle with the olive oil.

Roast in the oven until heated through and crisp, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

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