Another defining sign that spring has arrived: asparagus is on sale!
Yay spring. So, moving forward with more yummy spring recipes, I wanted to share this little delight.
This is a simple and enormously tasty dish that you can fashion into a salad, stand alone starter or meal. I have served it on many occasions to guests and have arrived at the happy conclusion that it's one of those foolproof winners (love those).
If you are not familiar with bocconcini, it is a semi-soft unripened cheese, similar to halloumi, that is versatile and easy to work with. You can only see little bits of it poking out of the prosciutto in the picture (along with those tantalizing crispy-chewy cheese sheets from the frying pan - my kids fight over those) - the bulk of the cheese is tucked under the prosciutto.
Pan Seared Prosciutto with Molten Bocconcini and Asparagus in a Balsamic Vinaigrette
For the Prosciutto Bundles
- 250 grams (1 package) prosciutto, sliced thin
- 200 grams (1 container) bocconcini
- 16 asparagus spears, steamed or roasted
- Mixed lettuce and assorted vegetables, as you wish
For the Balsamic Vinaigrette
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp grainy Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp lemon rind
- 1 tsp honey
- Sea salt and cracked pepper to taste
Note: Bocconcini is shaped roughly like an egg and comes in different sizes ranging from tiny pearls to golf-ball sized mounds. For this recipe, I used a medium sized ball about 40 mm in diameter or the size of a ping-pong ball, but you could go with whatever size suits you.
Wash asparagus and cut off woodsy ends (usually the bottom inch or two).
You can either roast the asparagus at 375 F with a little bit of olive oil for about eight minutes or steam it for two minutes. (In a recipe like this where there are already so many flavours competing for attention, I would say the roasting is less essential).
While your asparagus is cooking, cut four bocconcini balls in half for a total of eight units.
Spread one or two pieces of prosciutto out on a cutting board and top with two asparagus spears and a half bocconcini ball.
Simply wrap the prosciutto around the asparagus and cheese until you have eight compact prosciutto bundles.
Warm a large skillet with olive oil over medium heat. Place prosciutto bundles in skillet allowing them to brown before flipping them over to the other side. It will only take a minute or two on each side to sear the meat. Now turn heat down to lowest setting and cover your skillet to allow the cheese to fully melt.
Meanwhile, assemble vinaigrette ingredients in a small container with fitted lid. Close lid and shake vigorously to combine.
Prepare four plates with lettuce and mixed vegetables as desired.
Place two warm prosciutto bundles on each plate and drizzle with freshly mixed balsamic vinaigrette.