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by on June 17th, 2012

Crispy Asparagus Straws

Asparagus Straws for your next party.

I know Spring has been here and gone and we are looking at a hot dry summer ahead of us. But you can always get fresh asparagus, just not always at the low springtime prices.

(On our way to Chicago to see grandson #4; #3 arrived 2 months ago.)

When we were at the Food and Wine Festival in Austin (Texas) a couple of years ago, one of the caterers had several items made with phyllo. So that got me to thinking about this recipe I have had for a while and not made for several years.

I have always liked working with phyllo and never really understood some people’s “fear” of the stuff.  If it tears you just piece it together and continue on with the recipe. I have made roses with phyllo for a platter garnish, I’ve used it for desserts, I’ve made a Chicken in Phyllo with Lemon Veloute Sauce, there are all kinds of appetizer recipes out on the web just begging for someone to try them. Here is a wonderful dessert I posted a couple of years ago. It looks so elegant and is delicious to boot and really easy — Mandarin Orange Napoleons.

If you have never used phyllo, you should give it a try. Just make sure it is thawed either at room temperature or in the refrigerator and keep it covered with a tea towel while making your recipe and you will have no problems.

Appetizers are one of my favorite things to make and definitely my favorite type party to cater. Sometimes I tend to fill friends up too quickly on the appetizers before getting to the meal and I really need to start reeling myself in when it comes to the amount of food I prepare. Usually I have enough food to feed a small army. An appetizer is suppose to whet your appetite for the food to come, not kill your appetite and I admit, I’m guilty of that.

A lemon dipping sauce would also be great with this recipe.

I would definitely cut these either in half or thirds to serve.

Crispy Asparagus Straws

24 asparagus spears, trimmed
6 sheets phyllo dough
3 Tbsp. butter, melted
12 slices proscuitto, cut in half crosswise
4 oz. Parmesan cheese

Place the asparagus in a steamer basket and steam until bright green, about 2 minutes. Cool. Preheat oven to 450°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place 1 sheet of phyllo on a dry surface. Keep remaining sheets covered. Brush lightly with melted butter and cut into 4 rectangular pieces, 5″ – 7″.

Place 2 pieces of proscuitto on the phyllo, liningit up along 1 short edgeof the rectangle. Arrange an asparagus spear on top of the proscuitto, along the same short end of the rectangle, letting the tip lay exposed eyond the edge of the dough by 3/4inch or so. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon parmesan. Roll up and secure the edge of the dough with additional butter if necessary. Repeat with others. May be made 1 to 2 hours ahead up to this point, covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated.

Before baking, sprinkle the top of the straws with cheese. Cover the tops with foil to protect from the heat. Bake until golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes. Serve warm either whole or sliced into bite size pieces.

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