Appetizers are something I love, but hardly ever make. Unless I make them as dinner, instead of a starter for dinner. But given the opportunity, like a recent family dinner, it’s fun to make (and eat!) something pretty and delicious. These definitely fit the bill.
I love these little asparagus wrap ups. They are quick to make, and I like the combination of the crunch of the phyllo dough and the tender bite of the asparagus. They are a bit of fancy but not hard to make…one of my favorite combinations. Doesn’t hurt that they also are pretty healthy compared to most appetizer options.
If you aren’t familiar with phyllo dough, it’s very, very thin sheets of dough, which are layered and baked. I love the light and crispy texture. You find it in the frozen section of the grocery store. In most recipes you brush oil or melted butter between the layers, but the cooking spray works great and is a lot better for you. For a vegetarian version, just leave out the ham, or substitute thinly sliced cheese.
(adapted from Cooking Light)
1 bunch of fresh asparagus, ends trimmed
1 package of phyllo dough
Thinly sliced ham or prosciutto
Unroll the phyllo dough. Working quickly, separate one layer and lay it on a cutting board or towel. Spray lightly with cooking spray, top with another layer, spray with cooking spray, and top with a third layer. If you like some extra crunch you can also add a fourth layer. (Cover remaining phyllo sheets with a slightly damp paper towel so they don’t dry out).
With a sharp knife slice the phyllo rectangle in thirds across the long length, and then down in fourths, making 12 squares. Put a piece of ham on each square. Place a stalk of asparagus on one end and roll up. If your asparagus is really skinny, you can put two in each one.
Keep going until all asparagus and/or phyllo is used up. Pile these on a plate as you finish. If you don’t cook them all at once, just cover with a towel while the rest are cooking.
Heat oven to 375˚. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray. Fill the tray with asparagus rolls, leaving a little space in between them. Spray with cooking spray (it will help it brown a little better). You will probably have enough for two or three trays, depending on how big your asparagus is. Cook for 15-20 minutes, until phyllo turns golden brown. Remove, arrange on a platter, and serve immediately.