Sometimes you want a side dish that is not just a side but can subtly sneak in to steal the show. Prosciutto-wrapped asparagus is roasted to deepen the flavor and create a crispy shell around each stalk and does just that. There is a little prep work to pull off this fantastic dish, but it is well worth the effort.
Prosciutto is found in the grocery meat section, but can also be purchased in the deli department. You can asked for it sliced as thinly as you’d like and can usually wrap at least two, and sometimes three spears of asparagus from each slice. So figuring out how much you need is a simple math problem. Since this dry-cured ham is very rich, plan on 5-7 spears of asparagus per serving. (You can add a couple wrapped asparagus spears for the cook to sample—it is really that good.)
I like to buy medium-sized asparagus stalks to wrap and try to choose a bundle that has relatively similarly-sized spears. While some recipes suggest peeling the woody bottom of asparagus stalks, we’re skipping that here. Since the end of the asparagus is not wrapped, peeling it would dry it out in the oven. Instead, gently bend the top and bottom of each spear towards each other and allow it to snap naturally. This is an easy way to make every bite delicious.
All About Prosciutto
Prosciutto, pronounced (pruh·SHOO·toe) means “ham” in Italian. It is made from the hind leg of the pig and is dry-cured with salt and aged for months. The combination of salt and air makes it safe to eat without being cooked. It is sliced into paper-thin slices. Prosciutto is a close cousin to pancetta, which is made from the pork belly and is only cured so it must be cooked before being consumed. While both prosciutto and pancetta are similar in appearance and taste. Pancetta comes sliced in various thickness ranging from 3/8” thick to paper-thin, or even cubed. Pancetta cubes are often used like bacon. Prosciutto can be easily substituted for pancetta, but not the other way around.Print
A crispy-salty layer of prosciutto wrapped around an asparagus spear makes a wonderful vegetable side. Drizzle with a balsamic glaze to take this dish over the top.
- 1 pound medium asparagus spears
- 3 ounces prosciutto slices
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1–1/2 tablespoons balsamic glaze
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Break the ends off of each asparagus spear.
- Gently cut the prosciutto slices into halves or thirds the long way, depending on the size of the meat slices.
- Beginning near the tip, snuggly wrap each spear with the prosciutto winding the meat down the spear and ending near the bottom. Lay each wrapped spear on the lined baking sheet leaving a 1/2” space between them.
- When all the asparagus is wrapped, drizzle the olive oil over the spears and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Bake in preheated 400°F oven for 12-15 minutes until the prosciutto is crisp and the asparagus is tender.
- Remove pan from the oven and drizzle the spears with the balsamic glaze.
- Serve warm.
One pound of fresh asparagus equals 25-35 small spears, 15-25 medium spears or 12-18 large spears.
Keywords: asparagus, prosciutto,