What does one bring to a Spanish wine tasting party as an appetizer in the lovely burbs of Fairfield County, CT? My vote goes to this Proscuitto Wrapped Asparagus with a lovely chive dip. It’s uber tasty and oh so complimentary to those Spanish Reds. OR you might just serve it as an appetizer for any party, anywhere because its pretty easy to make.
So technically it is supposed to be Spring already. Cmmon already! I’m ready for my seasonal affective disorder to leave me, to be able to jog outside, to see a sunny day, and to drop the winter lbs that seem to have found their way onto me….in droves.
We should be gearing up for fresh local springtime asparagus at the market. But the stores seem to still be shipping in asparagus from warmer states that I do not live in. SIGH.
Key to this asparagus starter is to roast it for just long enough to make them a little browned and toasty, but still al dente. Otherwise, you’ll end up with asparagus mush, which is neither pleasing for taste nor texture.
If I had really wanted to be true to the Spanish theme, I would have wrapped the roasted asparagus in Serrano. I couldn’t find that, so I improvised and substituted prosciutto. It did the trick and tasted just as good with a nice Rioja. One word of caution here. It takes some time to wrap those little spears in the prosciutto. When I say easy, I mean it is not hard. NOT that they wrap themselves in 30 seconds flat. If you believe this, you will be LATE to the Spanish wine tasting like I was…
The chive dip, comprised of a creme fraiche and mayo base, is admittedly, not low cal or low fat (although low in carbs and gluten free!) and not what I should be eating to get myself bathing suit worthy. Not surprisingly, it got rave reviews 🙂 You could substitute low fat mayo and low fat sour cream if you wanted to, although I would recommend you keep the full fat variety, hit the gym earlier in the day (or not) and just use a little bit sparingly.
- 1 bunch asparagus (1 to ½ lbs)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp sea salt
- Fresh ground pepper
- 5 oz thinly sliced proscuitto or serrano
- ¼ cup shredded manchego or other hard cheese
- ⅓ cup creme fraiche
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise
- juice of half a large lemon
- 1 tbsp finely chopped chives
- 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Combine asparagus with olive oil, sea salt and pepper and toss to coat.
- Roast asparagus for 8-10 minutes until slightly charred, but still al dente
- Remove from oven and let cool.
- Wrap the asparagus on a diagonal, scattering a little manchego in as you roll it up.
- Meanwhile, combine the creme fraiche, mayonnaise, lemon juice, chives, parsley and salt and pepper. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours before serving.
- Serve asparagus at room temperature with chive dip.