My good friend and workmate, Krystal, got married a month ago in California. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to go to the wedding although I really wanted to be there. So, for all those folks at work who could not make the trek, I decided that I’d host a celebration for Krystal and her new husband, Phil, which took place on a beautiful, sunny day this past week. I think great fun was had by all and Phil was the first person in my pool for this year—even beating me! We spent some time having cocktails on the deck enjoying the beautiful weather before venturing inside for some great appetizers and dessert.
I prepared lots of different delicacies but I think the most enjoyed and talked about were the prosciutto, parmesan and asparagus filo rolls that my friend Tania and I prepared. Tania came over early to help me get ready for the party—she gave me a great excuse to drink beer while we prepped—and I am so grateful she was there.
Since it is fresh Ontario asparagus season, and they never taste any better than right now, I thought I’d share that recipe with you. Working with filo dough can be daunting—but it shouldn’t be. It’s finicky for sure … but with a little patience and a bit of speed (to ensure the dough doesn’t dry out too quickly), you too can prepare these delicious rolls.
Prosciutto, Parmesan and Asparagus Filo Rolls
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Place asparagus on sheet pan and roast for about five minutes in the hot oven to bring out the bright green colour and soften ever so slightly. Cool until you can handle them and then wrap each piece of asparagus with one slice of prosciutto from end to end. Set aside.
- Wet a kitchen towel and wring out so it’s not dripping. Open the filo pastry and place on the counter covered with towel. It’s very important that the entire time the filo is waiting to be used, you cover it with the damp towel. It dries very quickly which makes it difficult to work with. Make sure the butter, asparagus, cheese and pepper are ready because you’ll need to work quickly with the dough.
- Lay out one sheet of filo horizontally in front of you. Dip a pastry brush in the butter and shake over the left half of the pastry. Brush gently to spread the butter and make sure to cover all of the edges. Sprinkle the buttered half with cheese and a generous amount of pepper and then fold the right side over to cover the cheese and pepper. Sprinkle and brush more butter on the now folded top. Flip the pastry over. Place one piece of prosciutto wrapped asparagus on the bottom edge of the filo and roll the dough around it half way up the sheet. Slice across the top of the asparagus and then make sure the seam is on the bottom of the asparagus. Place on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Next, place another piece of prosciutto-wrapped asparagus at the bottom of thesecond half of the pastry and wrap as you did with the first piece. Make sure the seam is at the bottom and place on the baking sheet. Do this for all 18 remaining stalks of asparagus.
- Once all of the asparagus has been wrapped in filo, sprinkle all of the rolls with additional cheese. You can now bake right away for about 8–10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly and then slice into three or four pieces (I only cut them in half!) and serve immediately.
Delicious! If you need to wait to serve, you can cook them right away and reheat slightly before serving or cover them tightly with plastic wrap and put into the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake them. Place the cold rolls in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes (watch them) until they are golden brown. You could even freeze the rolls and then bake from frozen for about 30 minutes (again, watch them). It’s a very versatile recipe.
And there you have it. Folks were raving over how delicious these were and you know what? They were right. I have some filo left over and I think I’m going to make a few more tonight for a snack. I hope you’ll give them a try for your next get together—or maybe just for yourself!
’Til next time,