Gosh I love asparagus, which is just as well, because it’s crazily abundant at this time of year.
Most of our Australian crop comes from just outside Melbourne around the Gippsland town of Koo-Wee-Rup (which for my money takes the prize for the most splendid Oz town name) – an astonishing 97% of our entire crop in fact.
You’ve heard me bang on before about how imported out-of-season food is bad for your wallet, so make the most of this wonderful crop while you can – another month and it will be all gone.
With Christmas just around the corner, these ‘wraps’ are perfect party finger food, easy to make ahead of schedule, gluten-free and diet friendly. I’ve partnered them here with an aioli, but most dips will do, from hummous, to a red capsicum dip and even an asian-style dipping sauce will work.
I’ve specified Jamon which you might see in Aldi as a special occasion find, but otherwise prosciutto will work well. A little goes a long way and is kinder to your budget than you might think. You can even make these as an entree or vegie side dish to your main Christmas meal. It’s the last word in minimum effort for maximum effect.
- 12 spears asparagus (if you can, use thicker stalks)
- 6 -12 slices Jamon or proscuitto
- oil spray or a little olive oil
- 1 cup (250ml) aioli or other dip of your choice
Pre-heat oven to 160°C (fan-forced) and line a baking sheet with baking paper and set aside.
Snap the ends off the asparagus and if they are very thick, shave the ends with a vegetable peeler to get rid of the tougher skin (though I love it all and don’t normally bother).
Carefully peel each thin slice of ham away from the pack and use a sharp knife to cut each slice lengthways into half.
Starting at the base of each stalk, wrap a piece of Jamon or prosciutto around the stalk, working your way up towards the head. place seam side down on the baking tray. Repeat with the remaining asparagus.
Spray the spears with a little spray or a brush of olive oil. Bake for 10 minutes – the ham will crisp up quickly. After 10 minutes, turn the spears over and brown the other side for a further 5 minutes.
Serve warm or hot with a bowl of cool aioli or dip on the side.