This vegetable side is the best prep-ahead dish ever. Anything that can be made in advance, is easy to adjust to a group size, and is absolutely delicious is a large win in my book. The Barefoot Contessa is to credit for this recipe. I often adjust recipes but this one is perfect the way it is. The amounts below serve 6 guests, so adjust as needed. I usually prep these earlier in the day and bake as cocktail hour is ending. Cover tightly and refrigerate until you’re ready to bake the bundles.
- Kosher Salt
- 2 pounds medium-size Asparagus, bottom thirds discarded
- 6 slices of Italian Prosciutto
- Good Olive Oil
- 2 tbs White Truffle Butter
- Fleur de sel and freshly ground Black Pepper
- 2 ounces Gruyère Cheese, grated
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon salt. Snap the ends off the asparagus & discard. Next, immerse the asparagus in the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Drain the asparagus and put them immediately into a large bowl of ice water. This stops the cooking and sets the bright green color. Allow the asparagus to chill for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and pat the asparagus dry.
Gather 6 to 8 asparagus spears into a bundle with the tips together, and wrap a slice of prosciutto securely around the middle. Repeat to make 6 bundles. Brush a baking dish or tray lined with tinfoil (large enough to hold the bundles in one layer) with olive oil. Place the bundles seam side down in the baking dish, arranged side by side, with the tips facing the same way. In a small saucepan, heat the truffle butter and 1½ tablespoons of olive oil until the butter melts. Drizzle it over the bundles. Sprinkle with fleur de sel, pepper, and the Gruyère and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the butter is sizzling and the cheese melts and starts to brown. Serve hot.