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Asparagus bundles wrapped in prosciutto, brushed with garlic butter, and sprinkled with freshly squeezed lemon juice make a beautiful, party-worthy side dish that's also super-easy. Here's how to make them.
Why we love this recipe
Sometimes you just absolutely nail the balance between ease and elegance. Prosciutto-wrapped asparagus bundles are a dream come true in this department. Our recipe executes this idea perfectly by:
- Using pencil-thin asparagus for maximum refinement, ease of cooking, and ease of eating
- Blanching and shocking the asparagus to make it tender and preserve its gorgeous bright-green color
- Kicking things up with a savory garlic butter and a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice
And maybe best of all, you can prep these babies 100% in advance and pop them in the oven right before serving. That's dinner party magic if ever there were.
What you'll need
Here's a glance at the short list of ingredients you'll use to make these perfect asparagus bundles.
- It's great to make these with delicate pencil-thin asparagus if possible. They look a little bit more inviting and are easier to eat. If you can't find very thin asparagus, you can use slightly thicker stalks. If so, consider using a peeler to remove any woodiness on the bottoms of the stalks. Parboil them for a little longer, and group fewer asparagus in each bundle.
- Properly sliced prosciutto should be on the thin side but not so thin that it falls apart.
- Chop the garlic evenly but roughly. If it's too finely minced, it could burn in the oven.
- With so few ingredients, quality counts. I like to use a really good cultured, salted butter (here and pretty much everywhere) for maximum deliciousness.
How to make it
Here's what you'll do to make this easy recipe. You can see all the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post. And get the details in the recipe card below.
- Trim the ends off the asparagus so that only tender parts are left. Depending on your asparagus, this may require just a bit of trimming or quite a lot. Boil for two minutes (three if the stalks are thicker).
- Immediately transfer the asparagus to a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and set the bright green color. Dry very well.
- Divide asparagus into 12 equal portions and wrap each one tightly in a thin slice of prosciutto.
- Brush evenly with garlic butter and bake at 400°F for about 12 minutes, until they're fragrant and sizzling and slightly crisp at the tips.
Expert tips and FAQs
No worries. I like to use them when possible for maximum ease and elegance. But if you can't find them, you can use slightly thicker asparagus. (The thinner the better, but any asparagus will work.)
If using thicker stalks, be sure to trim off any woody ends. Then consider peeling the bottoms a bit if they're still not ultra-tender. Blanch them for three minutes instead of two. And use fewer stalks per bundle. Everything else can stay the same.
You sure can. You've got two options. You can prep them all the way through to the brushing of the garlic butter in advance and then roast them right before serving. Or you can roast them in advance and rewarm in a 300°F oven at the last minute. Either way, squeeze on the lemon juice right before bringing them to the table.
I've billed this recipe as a holiday or dinner party side dish, but it also makes a fantastic brunch, lunch, or light dinner when topped with a poached egg or two.
Here are some more of our favorite ways to serve one of our very favorite vegetables.
- With buttery breadcrumbs
- In a creamy, dreamy soup
- On a pizza
- In a galette
- With sheet pan salmon
- In a salmon Niçoise
- With immersion blender hollandaise
- On a gorgeous crudités platter with bagna cauda
- With pasta (or this pasta!)
- 2 pounds pencil-thin asparagus
- 12 thin slices prosciutto
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 8 cloves garlic, chopped
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Half a lemon
- Preheat oven to 400°F with a rack in the center. Trim the bottoms from the asparagus, discarding as much as necessary to be left with only tender parts. Fill a large mixing bowl halfway with ice water.
- In a 12-inch pan with a lid, bring an inch of water to a boil. Add asparagus, cover, and cook for two minutes. Remove asparagus from pan and plunge immediately into the bowl of ice water to set the bright green color.
- Dry asparagus well. Divide into 12 even bundles, with all tips facing the same direction.
- Wrap each bundle tightly with a slice of prosciutto. Line up bundles seam-side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Melt the butter and stir in the garlic. Spoon some of the mixture over each bundle and brush it all over the surface of the asparagus and prosciutto. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Roast for 12 minutes, until beautifully fragrant and sizzling. Squeeze the lemon half all over the bundles before serving.
- I prefer these bundles with delicate pencil-thin asparagus. If you can't find it, you can use slightly thicker stalks. After trimming, consider using a peeler to remove any woodiness on the bottoms of the stalks. Parboil them for three minutes instead of two, and group fewer asparagus in each bundle.
- Don't mince the garlic too finely, or you'll risk burning it in the oven. You can give it a good chop (refer to the photos and video for visual cues), but don't annihilate it.
- As always, I like to use a good-quality cultured, salted butter for maximum deliciousness.
- You can prep these bundles earlier in the day and roast them right before serving, or roast them ahead and rewarm in a 300° oven for a few minutes before serving.
- Store any leftovers tightly sealed in the fridge for up to a week.
- I've billed these as a holiday side dish, but they make a fabulous meal with a poached egg or two on top.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 101Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 822mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 10g
Nutrition information is per bundle.