Every now and again, you might get a hankering for a fancy and elegant appetizer. Oven-roasted asparagus might be a bit boring, but when you wrap those babies up in a little bit of prosciutto? Sign us up!
This amazing and quick appetizer brings together the salty flavors of prosciutto perfectly with the subtle sweetness of roasted asparagus, and puts them in little snackable bundles that ticks all the boxes for “perfect finger food”.
Fresh prosciutto is a bit pricey, so this might not become your go-to appetizer, but it’s definitely one that you can serve for your next special occasion or if you’re making dinner for someone you want to impress!
When it comes to appetizers, sometimes the most elegant and delicious appetizers are those with the least ingredients. This scrumptious recipe only uses four ingredients, but it will deliver incredible, mind-blowing results.
- 30 fresh asparagus spears
- 15 slices of prosciutto, sliced thin
- 2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
- Freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat broiler to high. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Trim asparagus spears by removing the woody bottom parts of the stems with a sharp knife.
- Cut each strip of prosciutto in half lengthwise. Wrap each trimmed asparagus spear with a strip of prosciutto, starting just below the tip and wrapping toward the bottom. When finished, the whole stem of each spear should be wrapped, except for the tip.
- Arrange wrapped asparagus spears on the lined baking sheets, making sure that there is plenty of room between the spears. Do not overlap them, as this will cause them to cook unevenly.
- Brush each spear with the olive oil and season with black pepper.
- Place baking pans with prepared spears under the broiler and cook for 4-5 minutes. Remove pan carefully, turn the spears over, and broil the other side for another 2-3 minutes. Cooked spears should be tender and prosciutto will be crisp.
- Remove spears from the broiler and place on wire cooling racks to allow excess grease to drain away. Dab with paper towels to further remove grease from cooked prosciutto.
- Repeat until all spears are cooked.
- Serve hot and enjoy!
Tip: If you can have your prosciutto sliced fresh, ask your butcher to slice them thinly. You can actually say that you’re going to use them for wrapping! Thicker slices might be too salty and difficult to use (you won’t be able to wrap them around the asparagus spears properly), and if the slices are too thin, they might just break apart in your hands.
How long will prosciutto last?
If the package is unopened and refrigerated immediately, prosciutto can last around 2-3 months. However, once opened, you need to finish the meat in around 1-2 days. Even though prosciutto is a cured, salty meat, it does have a short shelf life once you open the package.
Do you refrigerate prosciutto?
Yes, whether opened or unopened, you need to refrigerate prosciutto immediately.
What part of the asparagus do I use?
For fresh, young asparagus, you want to remove the tough, woody root of the vegetable. Get younger plants that are pliable and bendy, as older plants can be tough and harder to eat, even when cooked!
To get to that woody part of the asparagus, find where the stalk begins to snap instead of bend. You can them break it off with your hands, or to save time, gather the asparagus up into a bundle and cut through the woody parts with a sharp knife.
Can you eat the bottom of asparagus?
The bottoms of asparagus are tough and stringy, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not good to eat! You just need to treat them with a little bit more love and care. You can make creamy asparagus soup from them, or boil them with other vegetable scraps to make a delicious and nutritious vegetable stock.
Do I have to wash asparagus?
As a general rule of thumb, you should wash vegetables before using them, even if they look clean and fresh. You want to remove all the dust and grit that vegetables can get while sitting out in the produce stand! With fresh asparagus stalks, you can simply rinse them with clean, cold running water to remove all the dirt on the surface. You can also gently rub the stalks between your fingers to ensure that all the dirt is removed.
How to pick out asparagus?
When choosing fresh asparagus, you want to go by texture, firmness, and color. Fresh asparagus has firm but pliable stems, with the tips closed and compact. Whether you’re using green or violet asparagus (violet asparagus is less common, but they’re slightly sweeter and creamier when cooked), the color should be vibrant and crisp.
How to store asparagus?
If you’re storing asparagus, you want to treat them like fresh flowers. Cut off the ends, place the cut ends in a bowl or vase with an inch of fresh, clean water, and cover the tops with a plastic bag before storing in the fridge. You can also wrap the cut ends in a damp paper towel. You can store cut asparagus for up to 3 days in the fridge.
How to pick good prosciutto?
If you can get freshly-sliced prosciutto from your supermarket or butcher, it’s so much better compared to pre-sliced, frozen brands! High-quality, fresh prosciutto has a reddish-pink color with white fat streaks, and has a smell similar to bacon. Stay away from dried out meat, or worse, meats with grey, blue, or green tints. Bad prosciutto will also have a slimy look and pungent smell.
Wait, No Salt in this Recipe?
Did you notice that we didn’t include any salt in this recipe? Prosciutto is a very salty type of cured meat, so any extra salt might make the final dish too salty!
Squeeze Some Lemon on Top!
You can give the dish a bit of tangy brightness by squeezing a little bit of fresh lemon juice or grating some lemon zest on top of the asparagus spears after they cook!
Make it a Little bit Cheesy
You can add some Parmesan cheese too! The nuttiness of the cheese works well with the flavors of this dish, but be careful as Parmesan cheese adds a bit more salt as well. You can add the cheese on top of the broiled asparagus spears after you turn them in the oven, so that the cheese can melt and brown a little as the spears finish cooking.
Can I Make a Dip with This?
Yes, you can definitely make a dip to go with this! Our pick is this creamy garlic aioli dip because creamy garlic + salty prosciutto + sweet, crunchy roasted asparagus = heaven!
This is a great last-minute recipe if you forget to add an appetizer in your meal! The ingredients are easy to find, it’s quick to cook, and it will definitely get your guests asking for seconds.