Food & Wine

PUFF PASTRY AND PHYLLO WEEK: PHYLLO ASPARAGUS SPEARS

After a week of healthy eating, it's time for a little decadence. This week, we'll share recipes for two of the worlds most fabulous prepared ingredients -- puff pastry and phyllo dough. Today's recipe comes from laurasbestrecipes.com.

INGREDIENTS

24 asparagus spears, wood ends trimmed

6 sheets frozen phyllo, thawed

3-4 tablespoons melted butter

12 thin slices prosciutto (about 6 oz.), cut in half crosswise

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (or more)

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Prep all ingredients prior to working with phyllo dough.  This will make the assembly go faster with less opportunity for the phyllo to dry out.

Steam asparagus in a steamer basket set over 1-inch of boiling water just until bright green, about 2 minutes. Blanch them under cold water (helps to retain color and flavor) Transfer to a colander to cool. Remove phyllo from the refrigerator and unroll them to lay flat.  Place 1 sheet of phyllo on a work surface (cover the remaining phyllo with plastic wrap and then a damp clean towel). Brush lightly with butter. Start at the ends of the dough to keep it from cracking and work towards the center.  Cut into 4 rectangular pieces. Cut the asparagus spears down to 4 inch lengths.  Keep the unused phyllo dough covered with the plastic and towel when you aren't working with it.  Don't leave it uncovered for more than a minute at a time and work quickly.

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  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.  This is optional, but I find it's prettier if it's wrapped while baking. Arrange on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Bake until phyllo is golden brown, about 5 minutes.

Any unused phyllo can be rolled back up and wrapped in plastic. Place the the refrigerator and use within 2 weeks. Or, wrap in plastic, freeze and use within 2 months.

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