Saturday, May 23, 2009

Laura's Phyllo Asparagus Spears

Today I am featuring a recipe for Phyllo Asparagus Spears from Laura's Best Recipes. Interestingly enough, I found her blog by clicking on an ad Laura had placed on Facebook. I like her cooking, which is infused with California style.

This recipe is very easy, although it took me a little bit to figure out how much prosciutto to put with the asparagus. Mine had a tad too much at first (you can see in my picture up top that there's too much meat in the first roll but in the picture below, it's just right), making some of the spears a little salty. Once I learned to be more judicious in the use of the prosciutto, the rest were fine.

I brought them to my friends Jessica's and Peter's house as an appetizer before dinner, and they went great with the cheese tray. In particular, the Boursin cheese complemented the asparagus so well, that I will add the Boursin to the recipe next time.

These can be served warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!

Laura's Best Recipes Phyllo Asparagus Spears

24 asparagus spears, wood ends trimmed
6 sheets frozen phyllo, thawed
3-4 tablespoons melted butter (and/or Pam cooking spray)
12 thin slices prosciutto (about 6 ounces), cut in half crosswise
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (or more)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Steam asparagus in a steamer basket set over 1-inch of boiling water just until bright green, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a colander to cool. Place 1 sheet of phyllo on a work surface (cover the remaining phyllo with a damp clean towel). Brush lightly with butter. Cut into 4 rectangular pieces. Cut the asparagus spears down to 4 inch lengths.

Place 1 piece of prosciutto on each phyllo rectangle, lining up along 1 short edge. Arrange an asparagus spear over the prosciutto, letting the tip lay beyond the top edge of the phyllo. Sprinkle with Parmesan (I like it more than most). Roll up and secure the edge of the phyllo with butter, if necessary. When rolling, leave the asparagus tip unwrapped about one inch. Wrap foil around the exposed asparagus tip so it doesn’t burn. Arrange on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
Bake until phyllo is golden brown, about 5 minutes.

Ninette's Notes:

1)I steamed the asparagus just one minute, which was enough, because I didn't want them to overcook in the oven. Next time, I think I will skip this step, turn the oven down to 375 degrees and let them just cook in the oven.

2) I used Pam to spray the phyllo initially and then I brushed them with a garlic-infused butter before I put them in the oven. To make the butter, I put one smashed garlic clove with the butter and I melted the butter in the microwave with the garlic in it.

Instead of cutting the asparagus into 4 inch pieces, I wrapped the whole spear with the parmesan, prosciutto and phyllo. After the asparagus were cooked and had cooled down a little, I cut the spears in half as shown in the picture.

3) Laura uses 1 piece of phyllo and cuts it into four pieces. I used one piece of phyllo and cut it in 2 pieces. I sprayed the phyllo with Pam, sprinkled it with Parmesan cheese and folded it over, and then I cut the folded piece in half and used the two halves to wrap two asparagus spears.

4) I didn't cover the asparagus tips with foil, and they didn't burn in my oven.


~Carole said...

Ninette, these look amazing. I've always wanted to try an asparagus recipe like this. I appreciate the tips in your Notes section and will abide by them when I make this recipe.

Laura said...

That's great Ninette... thank you. Beautiful photo! Also, good point re: prosciutto. These do take a little practice.

Re: asparagus, I wouldn't skip the steaming step. Actually it would be best if after you steamed them if you immediately put them under cold water to blanch them. This make them turn a beautiful green and they cook better.

Love your website and notes... are you going the the BlogHer Conference in San Francisco this year?

Ninette said...

Hey Laura, I did immerse the asparagus in ice water right after I steamed them to stop the cooking process, but they were a little more cooked in the finished product than I would have liked. I used medium-sized spears, so if you have thick spears, you'd probably have to blanche them for sure, so the phyllo wouldn't burn. This is the fun of cooking, making all these micro-adjustments. I'm definitely making these again, so I'll try just cooking them in the oven without blanching and let you know what happens.

I'm not going to the BlogHer Conference, but would love to. I'm a little far away. Are you going?

pigpigscorner said...

They look gorgeous!! I was just looking for some asparagus recipes! Thanks!

Barbara said...

Love phyllo- what a super appetizer.

Pam said...

Oh yum. I can't wait to try these, I am always on the lookout for new asparagus recipes.

Justin said...

these look so good, and so easy. and i just noticed i'm on your blogroll, so thank you very much for that!

SweetThings said...

wow - what a fabulous idea.

Marta said...

this looks like the perfect spring appetizer Ninette, thanks for your rendition of the recipe and for your notes! I could have one right now!

tonic said...

Those look delicous!

Jackie said...

Ninette, I love this idea of wrapped asparagus. It's like a pig in a blanket but healthier.

suerae said...

How could you make these ahead of time? I need to have them ready in the morning in fridge and then take in the evening and cook at party. Would I have everything ready and just wrap the phyllo or could I have the whole thing prepared and ready to cook?

Ninette said...

Hi Suerae,

I would prep and have them fully wrapped before you put them in the fridge; cover tightly with saran wrap. Before you cook them, I would give them a spray of Pam or a brush of melted butter or olive oil before you cook them. I've never done this, but I think they'd be perfectly fine. Let us know how it works out!

Karine said...

Such an original to cook with asparagus!

Anonymous said...

I make something very similar except I put 1 asparagus spear, 1 thin slice of priscutto wrapped around the spear, I then put it on the phyllo dough and add a spoonful of goat cheese, and wrap it up. I then cook it in the oven at 350 for about 10-15 minutes. I don't cook the asparagus first. I am not really an asparagus or goat cheese fan and these are my favorite things to eat. I am actually making them again this weekend for my daughters birthday party. I found the recipe in a magazine a while back.

Sophie said...

MMMMMMM,...excellent asparagus appetizers!

They look so tasty!!

Laura said...

HI Ninette! Happy New Year! I'm updating my website and just added one of your photos from this recipe - and a link back to your site. Hope that's ok - I wanted my readers to see your take on the recipe... Hope things are going well for you so far in 2010. Take care, Laura

De (au)Gustibus said...

I loved these! Super easy to do, my guests finished them in 2 minutes! Here's my review
Thanks for the suggestion!