An old school appetizer–savory, cheesy–garnering new appreciation for its simplicity and wow factor despite how easy it is to make.
I’ve been going back and forth on a menu for a holiday dinner party. So far, the appetizer list is running much longer than my options for the main course and side dishes. At this rate this gathering might just end up an evening with heavy appetizers, a little bit of everything, and that wouldn’t be a bad thing. Thankfully time is still on my side; the main course will present itself in the coming days, I hope.
In the meantime, here’s one of the warm appetizers that I’m planning to serve. Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus; it somehow ended up my signature dish within my little social circle this past year. Baked asparagus spears are wrapped in salty prosciutto, melty cheese sandwiched in the middle. Any spreadable cheese works here though I’ve used Boursin garlic and herb spread since my husband isn’t a fan of goat cheese.
I can’t count the number of times I served this dish or brought it to friends as my potluck item this summer. It’s been hugely popular and consistently the first to go at the table but what’s not to like? It arrives at the table warm, the cheese still bubbling under the glistening, crispy prosciutto and tender-crisp asparagus with charred tips.
I hadn’t planned on posting this recipe here–I shared it on social media several months ago along with a how-to video since my friends requested a demonstration–but with the holidays around the corner it dawned on me that this recipe could be the solution to someone else’s holiday menu dilemma. This dish is certainly not my invention. Prosciutto-wrapped asparagus is as old school as an appetizer gets–but my friends have been generous with the compliments and some have even added it to their entertaining lineup so I had to share it with you, too.
Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus Notes and Tips
- Prosciutto: most prosciutto come in three- or four-ounce packages, about six to eight two-inch wide slices. I like to divide each slice into two or three to stretch the prosciutto for more servings and also to balance flavors. One slice of prosciutto for each asparagus bundle can be too salty.
- Asparagus: There’s no need to blanch the asparagus, especially if using smaller, thin spears. For smaller pieces, use two or three for each bundle. For thicker, larger pieces, make sure to trim the toughest part of the stem and use only one per bundle.
- Olive oil: It’s optional but I like to brush a little olive oil over each wrapped bundle to help with browning and crisping up the prosciutto (and also the asparagus).
- Broil: After baking, broil the prosciutto-wrapped asparagus for a few minutes to brown the prosciutto.
- Make Ahead: This is a very easy recipe to assemble but you can make it even easier on yourself if you prep ahead of time, store the tray in the refrigerator and bake right before your guests arrive.
An old school appetizer garnering new appreciation for its simplicity and wow factor despite how easy it is to make.
These amounts make 12-15 bundles. Scale up for more servings.
- Asparagus spears, tough ends trimmed Allow two to three for each bundle if spears are small and thin
- 3 ounces prosciutto split each slice in two or three strips
- 3 ounces spreadable herb cheese or goat cheese (room temp) I use Boursin garlic and herb
- olive oil for brushing, optional
Preheat your oven to 400ºF.
Take a strip of prosciutto and spread a small amount of cheese over the top. Take your asparagus and lay on a diagonal along one end of the prosciutto strip and roll to cover most of the asparagus, the end and tips exposed. Arrange on a baking tray.
Lightly brush olive over the top of each bundle and bake for roughly eight minutes or until the cheese has melted and the prosciutto is lightly brown. An optional step is to broil the asparagus for a few minutes to crisp up the prosciutto. Transfer to a serving dish and serve warm.