Still recovering from our (delicious) meat coma (and Mountain Day!) inducing dinner on Saturday, this tasty little bit o’ roasted veggie – with, admittedly, those crisped bits of prosciutto – was a welcome addition to our (mostly) meatless dinner table last night.
I did make a few small adjustments (surprise!) to the original recipe from the nice folk at Sur la Table – but mostly because of the status of my larder at the time I set about putting it all together.
•6 thin prosciutto slices
•Cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
•1 lb asparagus spears, washed and trimmed – I also peel mine
•Shaved Parmesan cheese
•Sea salt and black pepper
•1/4 cup white wine vinegar
•1 medium shallot, peeled and minced
– I used 1 heaping tsp dried shallots
•1 tsp Dijon mustard
•1/2 cup olive oil
•Sea salt and pepper to taste
•1/2 tsp dried thyme (1 tbsp fresh)
Heat oven to 350°.
The original recipe called for cutting the prosciutto into 1/2 inch wide strips, but I was feeling a bit lazy and just laid mine out whole – I used a whole packet from Trader Joe’s – on a parchment paper lined rimmed baking sheet.
Bake the prosciutto on the center rack for 8 to 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and set aside to cool. I let mine sit on the baking sheet while I was making the vinaigrette, then transferred them to a platter to rest.
Since I was using freeze-dried shallots, I stirred them into the vinegar and Dijon mustard and let them sit for 5 minutes before proceeding. I also used a hand blender instead of whisking everything together – much more simple – but you do what you like.
Blend (or whisk) the white wine vinegar together with the Dijon and the shallots, then, while still blending (or whisking vigorously), slowly drizzle in the olive oil. I ended up with this creamy, pale yellow emulsification that was pretty darned tasty just as it was. Still, season with a bit of sea salt and good black pepper, if you like, and stir in the thyme leaves. The original recipe had called for 1 tablespoon of fresh, so I used the standard conversion of 1 teaspoon dried – and I liked it – but, when next I whip this sucker together, I think 1/2 tsp will be more better.
Set the vinaigrette aside and get on with the asparagus.
Set the oven to 425°.
Drizzle 1/4 cup or so of olive oil over the bottom of that rimmed baking sheet you crisped the prosciutto on (remove the parchment), then arrange the asparagus spears in a single layer, rolling them around a bit to coat all sides with the olive oil.
Season with a bit of sea slat and good black pepper, then bake until tender – 8 to 10 minutes.
OK, here’s a really cool bit about this salad: all the pieces are done, and can now be ignored until just before you plan on serving, since this is a room temperature salad.
The good folk at Sur la Table suggest making the salad on four individual (and for some reason, chilled) plates, but I prefer to set a large, lovely platter of veggie goodness on the table – and if I haven’t needed to chill my salad, I am certainly not look around for room in either fridge to cool some plates.
Anyway, arrange your asparagus as you will – on a refreshingly cooled plate, or a room temperature platter – and drizzle with the vinaigrette. I added the tomatoes for a bit of color, and because I happened to have a heckuva lot of cherry and grape tomatoes sitting in a bowl on my counter at the moment.
Top the asparagus and vinaigrette with the prosciutto crisps (I crumbled mine a bit just before adding) and the shaved Parmesan.
We had ours with spinach and cheese tortellini topped with a bit of marinara I had sitting in the fridge – so it turned out to be a very red, white, and green dinner.
And very tasty.