Asparagus season is nearly over for this year, but there are still a few choice bunches to be had at farmer's markets. Up until recently, I only ever steamed asparagus, but then I discovered just how amazing it tastes roasted. It’s so easy - literally snap off the ends where the stalks break naturally, wash, dry and lay on a baking sheet or roasting tray that has been drizzled with a little olive oil. Drizzle a bit more oil on top, season with salt and pepper if you like, and roast for 15 to 20 minutes at about 375℉ or 190℃.
To make it even more special, I like to jazz things up a bit with this easy recipe. Simply roll each piece of asparagus in a thin slice of Parma ham or Proscuitto and place it, seam side down, on the baking sheet or roasting tray. Drizzle with a bit more oil. You can add pepper if you like, but I tend to avoid salt as the ham is salty enough all by itself. Roast as above, and serve sprinkled with a bit of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, if you like it. Four of these stalks make a great appetizer.
For a light lunch or brunch, roast some extra plain asparagus as above alongside the ham wrapped stalks. Serve about four plain stalks and four ham wrapped stalks topped with a poached egg or two. When you break the egg yolk, it runs down through the asparagus, and honestly, it’s absolute ambrosia.
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