Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus

Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus

24 thick asparagus spears, trimmed and peeled
12 thin slices prosciutto (5 ounces)
1⁄2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1⁄4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

1. In 5-quart Dutch oven, heat 3 quarts water to boiling over high heat. Add asparagus; cook 3 minutes to blanch. Drain; rinse with cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels.
2. Preheat oven to 450°F. Working in batches, spread out prosciutto on cutting board; cut each slice lengthwise in half and separate slightly. Evenly sprinkle 1 teaspoon Parmesan on each prosciutto strip. Place 1 asparagus spear at end of 1 strip; wrap prosciutto in spiral along length of asparagus (don’t cover asparagus tip). Transfer to jelly-roll pan. Repeat with remaining prosciutto, Parmesan, and asparagus. Sprinkle with pepper. If not serving right away, cover and refrigerate up to 6 hours.
3. Bake prosciutto-wrapped asparagus 10 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Arrange on platter and serve warm. Makes 24 appetizers.

Prosciutto with Melon

1 small honeydew melon or 1 medium cantaloupe, chilled
4 ounces prosciutto, thinly sliced freshly ground black pepper
1. Cut melon in half through stem end and remove seeds. Cut each half into 4 wedges; cut off rind.
2. Arrange 2 melon wedges on each of four plates; arrange prosciutto to side of melon. Sprinkle pepper on each serving. Makes 4 first-course servings.

Prosciutto with Other Fruit

Prepare as directed but substitute 8 large green or black figs, each cut in half, or 2 medium papayas, peeled, seeded, and sliced, for melon.

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