Who said finger food is unhealthy? Try this asparagus appetizer at brunch, as a pre-dinner snack, or served from a picnic basket on a warm spring day.
Minutes to Prepare: 15
Minutes to Cook: 10
Number of Servings: 12
Refrigerate fresh asparagus upright in a glass of water, covered loosely with a cotton towel. This prevents the ends from drying out.
12 asparagus spears, rough ends trimmed
6 slices lean ham, cut each slice in half
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
4 sheets whole-wheat phyllo dough, thawed*
2 tablespoons Parmesan, grated
*To prevent phyllo dough from drying out before you're ready to use it, keep it covered with a damp, lint-free towel.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil.
Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside.
Boil the asparagus for 30 seconds, remove from the pan with a slotted spoon, and immediately transfer to the ice water to halt the cooking process.
(This is called blanching and shocking, and it not only prevents vegetables from losing their color but also keeps them crisp.)
Drain the asparagus and pat them dry. (Note: these steps can be done ahead of time.)
Working on a cutting board, spread each slice of ham with 1/4 teaspoon of mustard, then wrap the ham around an asparagus spear. Repeat with all the ham and asparagus.
Layer two sheets of phyllo, spraying generously with nonstick cooking spray between each piece.
Use a pizza cutter or a chef's knife to cut the phyllo into 6 equal strips about 1 1/2 inches wide.
Repeat with the remaining two sheets of phyllo.
Starting at one end, wrap one strip of phyllo around each piece of ham and asparagus.
Spray the top of each piece with nonstick spray, then sprinkle on the Parmesan.
Line them up on a baking sheet coated with nonstick spray, or, for a crispy bottom, place them on a wire rack atop a baking sheet.
Bake 8-10 minutes until the phyllo is golden brown and crispy.
Serving Size: Makes 12 servings, one asparagus per serving
Click here for Chef Meg's Phyllo-Wrapped Asparagus recipe.
What is your favorite way to enjoy asparagus?
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