I’m 30!!! Yes it’s true, last week was my thirtieth birthday and Eric and I decided that was the perfect opportunity to invite everyone we know over to see our new home. We felt we may have underestimated our friends’ availability when about 75 people RSVPd that they’d be coming! We were totally excited though and I began planning a menu of appetizers to offer (Yes, food is almost always first on my mind). I’ll list everything we served at the end, but first, I have to tell you about these amazing prosciutto wrapped asparagus spears.
I almost feel silly sharing this recipe with you because it’s about as simple as you can get. But that’s what a lot of us are looking for right? Simple, fast recipes that will make people ooh and ahh and ask “What makes this so good?”
That’s what happened when I served these prosciutto asparagus roll ups. Guest after guest would ask what kind of bacon the asparagus was wrapped in and why was it so amazing. The secret is, it’s wrapped in prosciutto, not bacon.
Prosciutto is a dry cured ham that is very thinly sliced. It’s usually made from the leg or thigh of a pig or wild boar, rather than the belly like bacon. If you’ve ever been in a restaurant or butcher shop and seen hunks of meat hanging from the ceiling, that was probably prosciutto.
I almost made my other favorite prosciutto appetizer (feta prosciutto rolls) for the party, but they’re a little more time consuming than these asparagus rolls. When you’re making food for 60-80 people, fast and easy is the way to go!
To prep your asparagus, simply hold it at each end and bend gently. The spot with the most give (toward the woody end) is where you want to break it. I used to discard the tough ends of asparagus, but now I’m saving them to experiment with, always pinching pennies in my food budget!
Once you cook your rolls, taste one to decide if they need salt. The prosciutto I buy (from Sam’s Club) is pretty salty so I just finished them with fresh ground pepper. I’d suggest keeping these as an appetizer. I decided to make it a main dish and ate all the asparagus you see in the photos (nine of them) after my photo shoot and my tummy was not okay with that much asparagus in one sitting!
Now for the menu. A lot of these recipes are things we’ve made in the Healthy Cooking on a Tight Budget program, so it was really fun to hear class participants say “I’ve made this!” as they filled their plates.
Cranberry Orange Chex Mix (post coming soon!)
Sugar and Spice Nuts
Salmon Dip and crackers
Bruschetta (on crackers instead of bread)
SPAM Fried Rice
Roasted Root Vegetables with Alaea sea salt (post coming soon!)
Fresh fruit (apples, pears, grapes and tangerines)
Spinach, Feta Cranberry Salad
Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus
Raspberry Cookies (we got them for Christmas, put them out so we wouldn’t eat them all!)
As you can see I have lots of posts in the works from our party menu. Up next is the Chex Mix because I was so excited to find a healthy alternative to the all too addicting “Muddy Buddies”.
Okay, final question…Do any of you have a secret for repurposing asparagus ends? Do share!
Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagusserves 6-12
12 asparagus spears
6 slices of prosciutto
olive oil (no need to measure but about 2 TBS)
fresh ground pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Trim the asparagus by breaking off the woody ends.
Slice the prosciutto in half lengthwise to make 12 long strips. Wrap a strip around each asparagus spear moving diagonally to create kind of a barber pole pattern.
Place spears on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Roast in the oven for 12-15 minutes, until asparagus is easily pierced with a fork and prosciutto is golden.
Remove spears to a plate and sprinkle with fresh ground pepper (3-4 turns of the pepper grinder).
Approximate cost/serving: I got about 25 asparagus for around $3 (price has gone up since last time I bought asparagus!). If I use the stems later that reduces the cost but for now we’ll say it’s 12 cents per asparagus. At two packages of prosciutto for $9 it comes out to around 28 cents a slice. That means just 26 cents per prosciutto wrapped asparagus!
Gluten Free: No substitutions needed.
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Nutritional and cost information is for estimating purposes only, and subject to variations due to region, seasonality, and product availability.