Friday, April 8, 2011

Asparagi al' Speck e Arancia

Asparagus are one of the first vegetables to come around in spring. This is a super flavorful appetizer that is great to serve for any party that leave your guests wanting more. It can be prepared well in advance so you can grill the asparagus last minute. Speck is essentially a smoked prosciutto. I like to use that here and grill the asparagus to intensify that smokey flavor. If you can't find speck, prosciutto will work just fine. Another seasonal touch you could do would be to substitute meyer lemons for the oranges in this recipe. Feel free to get creative with any of my recipes to make them your own.

For Asparagus:
2 Bunches Asparagus, preferably hand picked and from farmer's market
1/2# Speck sliced paper thin

If your asparagus wasn't hand picked, trim off the end woody part
Cut the speck in half or thirds the long way
wrap the speck around the asparagus as tight as possible
Preheat your charcoal or gas grill on high
You can coat the asparagus with a little oil to prevent sticking or lightly oil the grill for the same purpose.
Lay the asparagus on the hot grill and cook for 1-2 minutes per side, or until speck is crispy & caramelized and asparagus is just tender
Remove from grill and place on a serving platter
Pour vinaigrette over the asparagus and serve immediately

For the Vinaigrette:
2 Oranges, Zested & Juiced
2T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1t Fresh Thyme, Leaves only
splash of sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
Pinch of cracked black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk together to emulsify.
Set aside until ready to use