These prosciutto-wrapped asparagus spears make delicious, passed appetizers, but they can also be included on a crudité board along with assorted raw vegetables, cheese, and crackers keeping the warm beauties off to one side.
Soft garlic and herb cheese, such as Boursin, is spread on the prosciutto before it is spun around the asparagus. The trick is to heat them in step number 3 just enough to make the asparagus slightly tender but still pleasingly crisp. If you heat them too long the prosciutto will get leathery.
It is much easier to successfully separate thin slices of prosciutto if it has been freshly sliced rather than struggling with slices that are prepackaged — those slices often tear into pieces. Many supermarkets now have deli departments that will slice it to order.
Yield: Makes about 30
2 pounds thick fresh asparagus, trimmed
About 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 (5.2-ounce) package soft garlic and herb cheese, such as Boursin, room temperature
16 thin slices prosciutto, cut in half crosswise
1. Adjust oven rack to 4- to 6-inches below broiler element and heat broiler. On rimmed baking sheet, toss asparagus with oil and then position in single layer. Broil until crisp — just barely starting to get tender, about 4 to 5 minutes, tossing halfway through broiling (shake the pan back and forth to rotate asparagus). Let asparagus cool slightly.
2. Move oven rack to middle position and change oven temperature to 450 degrees. Spread soft cheese on each piece of prosciutto. Roll prosciutto around center of asparagus spear. Repeat with remaining asparagus, prosciutto, and cheese. Place seam-side down on clean baking sheet.
3. Bake in middle of preheated oven until just warmed through, about 5 minutes. Serve warm.
Source: “Boards” from America’s Test Kitchen (America’s Test Kitchen, $30)
Cooking question? Contact Cathy Thomas at [email protected]