WGN’s Dean Richards shares his recipes for three asparagus appetizers on the grill: Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus, Beef Wrapped Asparagus, and Asparagus-Prosciutto Pizza.
Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus
- 16 large asparagus spears (3/4″-1’n at base) with tough ends trimmed off
- 16 slices of thinly sliced prosciutto
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Pan of boiling water to par-boil the asparagus
- Trim tough ends off of asparagus spears. Wash thoroughly.
- Place spears in boiling water; cook until bright green but still crunchy, about 1 minute. Prepare an ice-water bath. Drain asparagus; transfer to an ice-water bath to stop cooking. Drain asparagus again and set aside.
- Prepare charcoal or gas grill for medium – medium-high direct cooking.
- Wrap each spear with a slice of prosciutto.
- Brush the wrapped spears with olive oil.
- Lightly season with salt and pepper to taste. (the prosciutto is pretty salty, so be careful)
- Place spears on prepared grill and cook, turning as needed to evenly cook all sides, until the prosciutto is crisp and the asparagus has a slight char. The asparagus should be tender but firm.
Beef and Aspsaragus Negamaki (Rollups)
- 24 thin stalks asparagus, or 12 thick stalks sliced in half lengthwise
- 1 jar teriyaki sauce…or make your own:
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 bunch scallions, greens only
- 1 1/2 pounds beef, spiced or pounded thin (about 1/4 inch)
- Salt and pepper
- Toasted sesame seeds
- Ice water bath
- Pre-heat grill or oven broiler.
- Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil.
- Cut off asparagus ends to within 3 1/2 inches from tips; reserve bottoms for another use.
- Place tips in boiling water; cook until bright green but still crunchy, about 1 minute. Prepare an ice-water bath. Drain asparagus; transfer to an ice-water bath to stop cooking. Drain asparagus again in a colander, and set aside.
- Pour (or prepare) teriyaki sauce into a bowl. Whisk together soy sauce and sugar until dissolved; set aside.
- Cut scallions into 3 1/2-inch lengths, julienned lengthwise; set aside.
- Place one slice of beef between two pieces of plastic; pound lightly to an even thickness. Remove plastic; trim into 2-by-5-inch rectangle. Repeat with remaining beef.
- Marinate beef in teriyaki sauce for at least 20 minutes.
- Lat slices of beef out on a surface. Season with pepper.
- Place 1 piece of scallion and 2 asparagus tips across 1 end of beef, so vegetables extend over edges; roll. Set aside. Repeat with remaining beef and vegetables.
- Grill or broil negamaki, brushing with sauce and turning, until slightly charred and medium rare, about 2 minutes.
- Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Serve.
GRILLED ASPARAGUS AND PROSCIUTTO PIZZA
- 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 Boboli Pre-made pizza crust (or make your own)
- 6 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced 1/4 inch
- 4 blanched asparagus spears, cut into 3-inch pieces
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 1 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto, torn into strips 2
- 1 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
- Blanch the asparagus, immerse it in a pot of boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes, then immediately transfer to a bowl of ice water. This stops the cooking and preserves the bright green color of the asparagus.
- Sautee onion until caramelized (slightly brown and limp)
- Prepare a hot fire in a grill and preheat a grill-top pizza stone for at least 30 minutes, until the thermometer on the stone registers 500ºF.
- In a small fry pan over low heat, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic, then remove the pan from the heat.
- Brush the pizza crust with the garlic-infused olive oil. Bake one side of the pizza crust over an indirect hear and remove from grill. Set aside.
- Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese evenly over the crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border.
- Arrange the blanched asparagus and onion on top.
- Drape the prosciutto over the vegetables.
- Carefully slide the pizza onto the preheated pizza stone (or indirect heat on a grill) cover the grill and bake until the crust is golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Sprinkle the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese on top.
- Using the pizza peel, transfer the pizza to a cutting board and cut into slices. Serve immediately. Serves 2 to 4.