This side dish is one of those. We love asparagus - so does my entire family. So when I started planning our Easter menu, I knew I wanted to incorporate them into it somehow, but I wanted something with a little more "oomph" than steamed or sauteed asparagus. I went back and forth between a few recipes, but I really loved the combination of flavors in this recipe from Saveur.
The recipe below is the original recipe, but I detoured slightly. Instead of using big thick stalks of asparagus, I used small, baby aspargus (I like this kind much more). This resulted in the bundles consisting of 4 or so stalks instead of the 2 large like the recipe dictates.
Also, the recipe calls for spooning the balsamic syrup on the bottom of each plate and then place the aspargus bundles on top of that. While I did spoon a small amount in the bottom of my serving dish, I drizzled the syrup on top of the bundles instead of on each person's plate. A quick suggestion too - at one point the syrup got to thick for me to drizzle, so I simply put the pot back on the hot burner for 30 seconds and that did the trick.
These were a major hit with my family. Proscuitto plus balsamic most always equals greatness, but they pair especially well with the crisp asparagus. The presentation is also lovely and I really think serving this on a white dishes if you have them, is a great color contrast.
Seared Proscuitto-Wrapped Asparagus
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
36 thick spears asparagus, trimmed
18 slices prosciutto
3 tbsp. butter
Put vinegar into a small heavy-bottomed saucepan and simmer over medium heat until reduced by about two-thirds and slightly syrupy, 8–10 minutes. Remove pan from heat and set aside to let syrup cool.
Lay 1 slice of prosciutto on a clean surface with one of the narrow ends closest to you. Put 2 asparagus spears on end closest to you, perpendicular to prosciutto, with tips facing in the same direction, then roll up prosciutto around asparagus and set aside. Repeat with remaining prosciutto and asparagus.
Working in 3 batches, melt 1 tbsp. butter in a large cast-iron or other heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add 6 of the asparagus–prosciutto bundles, judiciously season with salt, and cook until browned on each side, about 45 seconds per side. Transfer to a large warm plate. Repeat process twice with remaining butter and asparagus–prosciutto bundles.