ASPARAGUS RAFTS

Teresa G.

By
@BlueGinghamApron

One evening, I wanted to serve the fresh asparagus from our garden for supper. I usually wrap it in prosciutto, brush it with a little olive oil and bake it, but this time, I didn't have the prosciutto, so I improvised. It turned out tasting great, was much less expensive than using prosciutto and it looked really cool! Ka-ching! These tasty rafts of asparagus woven through ham with melted parmesan cheese are perfect served alongside seafood and steaks. Another bonus - they can be assembled ahead of time.


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Serves:

2 "rafts" per person

Prep:

30 Min

Cook:

20 Min

Method:

Bake

Ingredients

6-8
fresh asparagus spears per person (number depends on size of spears)
1 slice
ham lunchmeat per person
olive oil
1 small pinch
fine sea salt per "raft"
1 pinch
fresh ground black pepper per raft
1 tsp
freshly grated/shredded parmesan cheese per raft

Directions Step-By-Step

1
Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Spray foil lightly with olive oil baking spray or use a paper towel, dipped in a little olive oil, to lightly grease the foil. Set aside.
2
Wash and trim woody cut ends of asparagus; place on paper towels and pat dry.
3
Cut each slice of ham in half lengthwise. Make 6, evenly spaced, vertical slits in each piece, carefully avoiding the edges.
4
Weave asparagus stalks through each slit, using as many stalks as will fit without tearing the ham (if it tears, you can "patch" it with a small piece of ham placed over the tear,) placing each "raft" on prepared foil lined baking sheet.
5
Lightly brush asparagus and ham with olive oil; sprinkle very lightly with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper (salt is optional, but I love salt, so I always add just a little bit;)
6
Bake at 425ºF for 15 minutes (20 minutes for large spears.)
7
Remove from oven, sprinkle parmesan cheese lightly over all; return to oven for 2 to 3 minutes, until cheese is melted. Serve.
8
Cover and refrigerate leftovers. May be assembled, covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated up to 1 day ahead. Preheat oven and bake, uncovered, as directed.