It’s officially April which means fresh vegetables and fruit will begin to ramp up and carry on through fall. I figured what better time than now to feature one of my all time favorite vegetables, asparagus, since it is in season this time of year. Asparagus is a rich source of folate, potassium, Vitamins A, E and C. Not only is it loaded in nutrients it is also low in calories with six spears providing ~22 calories. Asparagus is a great vegetable by itself and a great color and flavor additive for risottos, pastas and salads. It’s easy to prepare and delicious tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper and placed on the grill or roasted in the oven. The key is not to over cook it. The spears should still have a crunch when you eat them. Here is one of my favorite recipes. Perfect for serving at parties or as a starter for a date night.
Asparagus con Prosciutto (aka prosciutto wrapped asparagus)
There are many ways to make this recipe and most traditional recipes don’t cook the prosciutto. I’ve realized over time that I actually prefer it when the prosciutto is slightly cooked and crispy. A trick I’ve learned from preparing this so often is to blanch the asparagus. Cooking the spears for a short amount of time will help them keep their bright green color. Here is how I make this delicious antipasto.
- 1 bundle of asparagus, washed with bottom ends cut off
- ~6-8 thin slices of prosciutto, cut in half lengthwise
- olive oil
- black pepper
- salt (optional, not always needed since prosciutto is salty)
- Blanch asparagus in boiling water for two minutes
- Toss asparagus in ice water immediately after to stop the cooking
- Wrap each asparagus spear with a thin slice of prosciutto
- Place each asparagus wrapped in prosciutto on a baking sheet
- Broil until asparagus is crispy (varies 3-10 minutes depending on how crispy you want them)
- Lightly drizzle with olive oil and black pepper
- Serve warm or chilled
Food for thought (better yet for smell…)
Yes, it’s true asparagus can make your urine smell after eating it but not everyone has the gene. If you have to think about if you’ve noticed this before you definitely don’t have it. Being a carrier of this gene I can say there is no doubt you wouldn’t notice the smell. Turns out asparagus contains a sulfur called murcaptan that makes the smell when it’s broken down in our digestive systems.