Asparagus & Prosciutto Rolls
12 slices prosciutto
24 asparagus spears
100g butter, melted
60g parmesan cheese, grated
fresh nutmeg, grated
- Preheat the oven to moderate 180c. Cut each slice of prosciutto in half. Cut off the base of each asparagus stem so that the spear is about 9cm long. Bring a pan of lightly salted water to the boil. add the asparagus and cook 1 minute, or until just tender.
- Drain the asparagus and pat dry. Brush with the melted butter, then roll the spears in the grated parmesan. Wrap each spear in half a slice of prosciutto.
- Brush an ovenproof dish, large enough to hold the spears in a single layer, with melted butter. Place the bundles in the dish. Sprinkle with remaining parmesan, grated nutmeg and cracked black pepper, to taste. Bake for 7 minutes. Squeeze a little fresh lemon juice over the top to serve.
Sourced from the essential finger food cookbook
FACTS YOU SHOULD KNOW ASPARAGUS & PROSCIUTTO
It was once classified in the lily family, like the related Allium species, onions and garlic, but the Liliaceae have been split and the onion-like plants are now in the family Amaryllidaceae and asparagus in the Asparagaceae. Asparagus officinalis is native to most of Europe, northern Africa and western Asia, and is widely cultivated as a vegetable crop.
It has been used as a vegetable and medicine, owing to its delicate flavour, diuretic properties, and more. It is pictured as an offering on an Egyptian frieze dating to 3000 BC. In ancient times, it was also known in Syria and in Spain. Greeks and Romans ate it fresh when in season, and dried the vegetable for use in winter; Romans even froze it high in the Alps, for the Feast of Epicurus. Emperor Augustus created the “Asparagus Fleet” for hauling the vegetable, and coined the expression “faster than cooking asparagus” for quick action. A recipe for cooking this vegetable is in the oldest surviving book of recipes, Apicius’s third-century AD De re coquinaria, Book III.
Prosciutto is an Italian dry-cured ham that is usually thinly sliced and served uncooked; this style is called prosciutto crudo in Italian (or simply crudo) and is distinguished from cooked ham, prosciutto cotto.
Prosciutto di Parma is made in Parma Italy, the same region well known for Parmesan cheese. The pigs raised in this region are often fed whey left over from the cheese making process, which gives the meat a slightly nutty flavor.
Commonly associated with Friuli and Emilia, the most renowned and expensive legs of prosciutto come from central and north-eastern Italy
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