As we are finalizing the Royal Baby Shower Menu Fit for a Duchess, Ellen and I are testing and tasting some of our ideas this week. Ellen had mentioned wrapped asparagus early in the planning process, and as I have had an asparagus thing going all spring sharing recipes here, here, here and here, I immediately agreed. She had in mind something more traditional, but recently I found a modern version that I was excited to try. We decided that a taste test was in order.
Ellen’s recipe for Asparagus Bites comes from her beloved old DeKalb County Junior League cookbook, Puttin’ on the Peachtree.
Starting with rolled crustless white bread slices, you smear on a mixture of cream cheese, crumbled blue cheese and egg. Then you roll an asparagus stalk (fresh, not canned, please) up inside the bread, cut off the end of the stalk hanging out, then slice the roll into 3 bite-sized pieces. Dipped in butter and placed on a baking sheet,
The moment that the recipe for Phyllo-Wrapped Asparagus with Prosciutto serendipitously arrived in my Inbox courtesy of My Recipes.com, it became a “Gotta Try” recipe even though I have never before attempted to work with phyllo dough. Turns out, the dough sheets are very similar to wonton wrappers, just bigger and a bit drier. After working with a couple of the sheets and a pizza cutter, I got the hang of them and found them to be much easier to use than I had ever imagined. (A whole new world of recipes just opened up.) In fact, slicing the prosciutto proved to be a more difficult procedure than prepping and rolling the phyllo dough.
My family served as guinea pigs for my first attempt, and we really enjoyed these asparagus rolls with dinner one night. The prosciutto adds the perfect salty bite, but I thought they could stand a bit of tweaking for the Royal Baby Shower. My second attempt before the taste-off with Ellen went better with a few changes, and I think that this simple recipe will please most anyone.
Asparagus Wrapped in Prosciutto and Phyllo30 stalks of asparagus, trimmed 3 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into 30 long thin strips 8 (14″ x 9″) sheets frozen phyllo dough from a two-roll package, thawed olive oil in spray container (we used the Misto Olive Oil Sprayer for great results)
Preheat oven to 450º. Twist a strip of prosciutto around each stalk of asparagus barber pole style. Set aside.
Carefully remove one sheet from roll of phyllo dough and lay evenly on work surface. Cover phyllo dough roll to keep from drying out. Spray sheet of dough liberally with olive oil. Using sharp knife or pizza cutter, divide sheet into 4 equal 9″ long rectangles. Take one prosciutto-wrapped asparagus stalk and lay it just off parallel on one of the short ends of the first dough rectangle. Roll the stalk slightly on the diagonal until it is completely wrapped but for its head, trim the remainder of the dough and lay the stalk on a baking sheet with the trimmed edge of the dough facing down. Repeat with the remaining three rectangles, then spray all four wrapped asparagus stalks with olive oil to keep moist. Continue with remaining asparagus and phyllo dough sheets until all of the stalks are wrapped in dough and coated in olive oil.
Bake for 10 minutes until golden brown. Remove and serve warm or at room temperature. These can be prepared up to four hours in advance of baking. After spraying olive oil on the wrapped asparagus, cover and refrigerate until ready to put in the oven.
The taste test was tough. We enjoyed them both. Ellen’s bites were definitely richer with the cheese mixture and butter. Mine were more savory with the salty bite from the prosciutto. After receiving requests to add cucumber sandwiches to our Royal Baby Shower Menu, we decided that there will be enough bread on the table, so we will serve the Asparagus Wrapped in Prosciutto and Phyllo. We think that Kate would approve this modern version of wrapped asparagus.