Crispy Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus: A Flavorful Delight Ready in Minutes

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Crispy prosciutto-wrapped asparagus is a delicious and elegant appetizer or side dish that combines the earthy flavors of asparagus with the savory taste of prosciutto. This simple yet impressive recipe is perfect for entertaining guests or adding a touch of sophistication to your everyday meals. With its high protein content from the prosciutto and the added health benefits of asparagus, you can enjoy this delightful dish guilt-free.

To prepare, you will need asparagus spears and prosciutto slices. Picking thicker asparagus spears is recommended, as they are easier to wrap and maintain their juiciness when cooked. To ensure the best possible outcome, begin by prepping the asparagus by snapping off the tough, woody ends, leaving tender spears ready for wrapping.

Next, take your prosciutto slices and gently wrap them around each asparagus spear, taking care to cover it evenly. Once wrapped, you can choose your preferred cooking method: baking, grilling, or pan-frying. Regardless of the method, ensure you cook the asparagus until the prosciutto turns golden and crispy, and the asparagus is tender. Serve immediately and enjoy your beautifully crafted crispy prosciutto-wrapped asparagus.

Selecting Ingredients

Crispy prosciutto wrapped around fresh asparagus being selected

Choosing the Best Asparagus

When looking for asparagus, always opt for firm and straight stalks with healthy looking tips. Stalk thickness is crucial for this dish, as thin stalks tend to dry out quickly and are harder to wrap with prosciutto. Aim for asparagus spears that are about 16 to 18 spears per pound.

Asparagus is a nutritious vegetable, packed with:

  • Fiber
  • Iron
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin C
  • Calcium

Types of Prosciutto

Prosciutto, an Italian salt-cured ham, is the key ingredient that adds a delicate smoky and earthy flavor to this dish. Generally, you’ll find prosciutto in small 3- to 4-ounce packages, perfect for wrapping around the asparagus spears.

Additional Flavor Enhancers

To elevate the taste of your crispy prosciutto-wrapped asparagus, consider adding some of the following ingredients for extra flavor:

  • Olive oil: Drizzle on the asparagus before wrapping with prosciutto to ensure they cook evenly and have a pleasing texture.
  • Black pepper: Freshly ground black pepper provides a punchy and aromatic element to the dish.
  • Parmesan: Grate some Parmesan cheese over the wrapped asparagus before baking to add a savory, umami touch.
  • Lemon zest: A sprinkle of lemon zest introduces a bright, citrus note that complements the richness of the prosciutto.
  • Garlic: For a more robust flavor, add minced garlic to your olive oil before tossing with the asparagus spears.

With these ingredients, you can easily customize your crispy prosciutto-wrapped asparagus into a delicious and unique dish.

Preparation Techniques

Fresh asparagus spears wrapped in crispy prosciutto, arranged on a cutting board with a knife and seasonings nearby

Trimming Asparagus

Before you start, you’ll want to ensure that your asparagus is trimmed and ready to be wrapped. To do this, take each spear and snap off the rough, woody ends at the bottom of the stalks. These ends often feel thicker and less tender than the rest of the spear. Snapping off the less delectable parts will guarantee a more enjoyable eating experience. Save the trimmed pieces for other recipes, like stir-fries, by peeling off their rough exterior and slicing them into 1⁄2-inch segments.

Wrapping with Prosciutto

When it comes to wrapping the asparagus, make sure you use thinly sliced prosciutto for the best results. Gently tear one slice of prosciutto in half to ensure an even wrapping. Begin at the bottom of the asparagus spear and wrap the prosciutto around in a spiral, working your way to the top.

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F (220 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with either aluminum foil, parchment paper or a silicone sheet to help with cleanup. Place the wrapped spears on the prepared baking sheet.

Adding Seasonings

You may wish to add some seasonings to enhance the flavors of your crispy prosciutto-wrapped asparagus. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Salt and pepper: A light sprinkle of sea salt and cracked pepper before baking adds an extra layer of flavor. Keep in mind that prosciutto is already high in sodium, so be mindful of the salt amount you add.
  • Herbs and spices: Try adding fresh or dried herbs like thyme, rosemary, or garlic powder to give your asparagus some extra depth of flavor.
  • Olive oil: Drizzle some olive oil over the wrapped spears before baking. This will help them crisp up and add a touch of healthy fat.
  • Cheeses: For those who want to be a bit indulgent, add some grated Parmesan cheese or spread a thin layer of flavored cooking cream over the asparagus prior to baking.

Bake the prepared asparagus in the preheated oven for about 5 minutes, or until the prosciutto turns crispy and golden. Be sure to keep an eye on them to avoid overcooking. Remove from the oven, and serve hot alongside your desired dish.

Cooking Methods

Oven-Roasting Process

For a crispy prosciutto-wrapped asparagus dish, oven-roasting is one of the most popular methods. To begin the oven-roasting process, preheat your oven to 450 degrees F (220 degrees C). While the oven is preheating, you can prepare the asparagus by snapping off the rough, woody ends at the bottom of the spears.

Next, prepare a baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil and coating it with olive oil. Wrap each asparagus spear with a slice of prosciutto, starting at the bottom and spiraling up to the tip. Lay the wrapped spears on the prepared baking sheet, ensuring they have sufficient space around them to promote even cooking.

Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and roast for about 5 minutes, or until the prosciutto is crispy and the asparagus is tender. Keep in mind that oven-roasting tends to produce little saturated fat, making it a healthier option.

Alternative: Grilling

If you’d prefer to prepare your crispy prosciutto-wrapped asparagus on a grill, there are a few steps to follow to ensure they cook evenly and impart a delicious smoky flavor:

  1. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Blanch the asparagus spears in boiling water for 1-2 minutes, then immediately submerge them in ice water to halt the cooking process. This step will help the asparagus cook more evenly on the grill.
  3. Wrap each blanched spear with a slice of prosciutto.
  4. Use a grill pan or skewers to hold the wrapped asparagus in place, preventing them from falling through the grates.
  5. Place the wrapped spears onto the grill and cook for about 6-10 minutes, turning them occasionally to achieve even charring.

Grilling is an excellent alternative to oven-roasting, as it lends a distinct smoky flavor to your dish while still achieving the desired crispiness for both the prosciutto and the asparagus.

Serving and Presentation

Plating Suggestions

To make your crispy prosciutto-wrapped asparagus visually appealing, consider some of these plating suggestions:

  • Grilled Lemon Wedges: Grilling lemon wedges adds a touch of char and smokiness to your plate, accentuating the crispiness of the prosciutto. Simply grill the lemon wedges for a few minutes, and then place them alongside the wrapped asparagus.
  • Charcuterie Board Style: Arrange your wrapped asparagus on a wooden board or platter, surrounded by an assortment of different cheeses and cured meats, such as salami, goat cheese, and crackers, to create a vibrant and inviting display.
  • Drizzle with Balsamic Reduction: For an elegant touch, drizzle a balsamic reduction over your wrapped asparagus. The deep color and tangy flavor of the reduction will complement the saltiness of the prosciutto and the natural flavor of the asparagus.

Accompaniments

Crispy prosciutto-wrapped asparagus can be served both as an appetizer or as a side dish. Here are some accompaniments you may want to consider:

  1. Easter Meal: This dish makes an excellent side for an Easter dinner. Paired with roasted or grilled meats, like lamb or ham, the flavorful asparagus and crispy prosciutto will complement the rich, tender meat.
  2. Veggie-centric Menu: Include the prosciutto-wrapped asparagus in a variety of veggie dishes, such as roasted Brussels sprouts, grilled bell peppers, and marinated artichoke hearts, to create a colorful and nutritious feast.
  3. Goat Cheese Dip: Whisk together some goat cheese, olive oil, lemon zest, and a pinch of pepper for a tangy and creamy dip that pairs well with the warm, crunchy prosciutto-wrapped asparagus.

By following these serving and presentation tips, you’ll be able to create a delicious, eye-catching dish that is sure to impress your guests.

Storage and Leftovers

Proper Storage

Properly storing your crispy prosciutto-wrapped asparagus is essential in maintaining its quality and taste. To maximize freshness, store your leftovers in the refrigerator. Place the wrapped asparagus in an airtight container to avoid exposure to humidity and possible contaminants.

Here are some quick and simple steps to follow for proper storage:

  1. Allow the prosciutto-wrapped asparagus to cool to room temperature.
  2. Transfer the wrapped asparagus to a clean, airtight container.
  3. Secure the lid to ensure a proper seal.
  4. Place the container in the refrigerator, avoiding overcrowded areas that may restrict airflow.

Following these steps will help maintain the nutrition facts of the dish and its overall quality. Ideally, consume your leftovers within 3 days to ensure the best taste and texture.

Reheating Tips

Reheating your crispy prosciutto-wrapped asparagus is key to restoring its delicious flavors and textures. Here are some tips to follow:

  • Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the wrapped asparagus on a baking sheet with a layer of parchment paper and heat for about 5 minutes, or until warm and crispy.
  • Microwave: If you prefer to use a microwave, place the asparagus in a microwave-safe dish and cover it with a microwave-safe lid or plastic wrap. Heat on high for approximately 1-2 minutes, checking periodically for desired warmth.

If you’re considering a make-ahead option, store the prosciutto-wrapped asparagus in the refrigerator as mentioned in the “Proper Storage” section. Reheat them following the reheating tips above prior to serving.

Remember to enjoy your reheated crispy prosciutto-wrapped asparagus within the recommended three-day timeframe for optimal taste and nutrition.

Nutritional Information

Prosciutto-wrapped asparagus is not only delicious but also a healthy choice for an appetizer or side dish. In this section, we will explore the nutritional information related to this dish.

Each serving of prosciutto-wrapped asparagus (approximately 4 spears) contains 75 calories. The dish is low in total fat, with about 1.8 grams per serving, of which 1g is saturated fat.

The dish is a good source of dietary fiber, providing 3.6 grams per serving. This helps with digestion and makes you feel full, contributing to a healthy diet. Carbohydrates are also low at around 7 grams per serving, with sugars making up just 3.2 grams of this amount.

In terms of protein, each serving of prosciutto-wrapped asparagus offers 9.7 grams. This provides a valuable source of essential amino acids, contributing to muscle growth and repair.

When it comes to sodium, the dish contains 344mg per serving. This is partly due to the salt-cured prosciutto, a flavorful Italian ham. However, this amount is still within acceptable daily limits, as long as you keep an eye on your overall sodium intake.

The cholesterol content of prosciutto-wrapped asparagus is relatively low at 15mg per serving. This dish can be part of a heart-healthy diet when consumed in moderation.

Regarding micronutrients, the asparagus contributes valuable vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, and potassium.

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet, the Percent Daily Values for prosciutto-wrapped asparagus are as follows:

  • Total Fat: 2.8%
  • Saturated Fat: 5%
  • Cholesterol: 5%
  • Sodium: 14.4%
  • Carbohydrates: 2.3%
  • Dietary Fiber: 14.4%
  • Sugars: 6.4%
  • Protein: 19.4%

Keep these nutritional facts in mind when enjoying this tasty dish. By doing so, you can be confident that you’re making a delicious and healthy choice.

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