Roast Asparagus Bundles

1 lb. Asparagus, tough ends broken off
Extra Virgin olive oil
1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs
pinches of sea salt & freshly ground pepper
Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/2 to 1 tsp fresh lemon zest
1-2 garlic cloves, finely grated
pinch of dry herbs
6-8 thin slices Prosciutto or Jamon Serrano
1-2 tsp sweet Balsamico*
1-2 TBS chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Break tough ends off asparagus and place in boiling salted water just until color deepens, about 3 minutes. Remove and plunge into ice water. Once cool, dry on paper towels. If done right, you’ll have tender yet crisp and juicy spears.

Season breadcrumbs with salt, pepper, 1-2 TBS Parmigiano, garlic and herbs to taste. Toss breadcrumbs as you slowly drizzle in up to 1 TBS olive oil. Mix well and set aside.

Drizzle about 1 TBS olive oil in a large baking dish.

Divide blanched asparagus into about 6 bundles. Lay out a slice of Prosciutto / Serrano and gently use it to wrap a bundle of asparagus. Place in prepared baking pan and gently flatten each bundle slightly (so it will hold more breadcrumbs). Repeat with remaining asparagus.

Sprinkle bundles with breadcrumbs and place pan on the top rack of your preheated oven, roasting until the crumbs brown. Serve, decorating with a sprinkle of parsley, curls of Parmigiano-Reggiano, and a drizzle of sweet syrupy Italian Balsamico di Modena.


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