Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus with Lemon Zest

While wrapping this asparagus, Gary told his mother that this recipe is the reason he fell in love with me. It was delivered in a way that made it unclear how much he was joking (and it’s even less clear once you taste these and promptly fall in love with me yourself) so then it was awkward city for a few minutes… but hey! You’ll understand shortly! Onward, troops!


Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus with Lemon Zest

a bundle of asparagus
a pack of thinly-sliced prosciutto
1/2 lemon
olive oil
garlic powder

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Take out a baking pan and (a) cover it with foil or (b) PAM it.

Hint: which option you prefer depends on whether it’s more important for you to save money or have less mess to clean up after cooking. PAM is generally my way to go because foil is apparently not one of those things on my “Stuff From the Dollar Store That’s Surprisingly Okay if Not Totally Edible/Usable/Durable” list (which I’ll maybe do a post on later on). Foil and Saran Wrap are both often offered at Dollar Stores, but I’m pretty sure they must come from some company that is actually just joking. Long story short, if you’re into roasting and broiling and baking, you’re gonna go through the shiny stuff and it’s gonna cost you.

Also, I know people can get really weird with me about the PAM preference, but while I totally get the whole Michael Pollan “don’t ingest anything your grandmother wouldn’t have recognized as edible” deal, everyone gets to have their exception. And mine hasn’t been linked in the news to depression or heart disease! (Yet.)


Our two recipe stars ready to go! (Please take the liberty of ignoring the shot glass in this pic, Gary and I prepared this for brunch at his rents’ place and Bloody Marys were being made alongside us.)

Tail the asparagus. By this I mean hold each spear in your two hands, one hand at each end of the stalk. Then slowly bend the stalk. It will naturally break in two an inch or so (or less, depending) from the stalk’s end. Discard these ends. (Or compost them!)

Lay out the asparagus in a single layer on the baking pan. Drizzle olive oil over them. Use your hands to roll the asparagus around in the oil, so that every spear is adequately slippery (covered). Wash your hands.

Sprinkle garlic powder over the asparagus. S&P.

Then, carefully separate the top slice of prosciutto from the pack and starting in the middle of an asparagus spear, roll it tightly around the spear until it is close to the top. Depending on the size of the slices and the size of the stalks, you may want to tear each prosciutto slice in half. You don’t want to totally overwhelm the asparagus taste.


See the prosciutto wrapped asparagus in the middle of the pan? Those stalks are the equivalent of three servings of this side. If you allocate appropriately by planning a bit before you start these steps, you should be able to get four servings out of the typical packet of prosciutto  And then if you like, you can regularly-roast asparagus in just the olive oil, S&P, garlic powder & zest alongside your fancy ones. Makes a GREAT snack or lunch the next day.

Depending on your taste preference, zest either 1/2 or 1/4 of a lemon. If you have a zester, this step is EASY AS PIE. If you don’t have a zester, I sure hope you have a vegetable peeler. Peel off a few strips, getting as little white stuff (whatever that’s called is eluding me right now, but it tastes bitter and you know what I mean) as possible.


Then use a good knife to mince it.

Sprinkle the lemon zest liberally over your asparagus. Reserve a little in case you want to add a fresh little pop at the end.


Put the pan into your oven and whatever you do, don’t leave the kitchen! Seriously though, that will probably ruin all your hard work: the asparagus should be ready to turn over in a mere five minutes.

After that five minutes, remove the pan and set it on the stove. Using two forks, turn over each spear, so the light green, raw part is now exposed. Return the pan to the oven for another few minutes. When the asparagus becomes smaller, a dark, oily green in color, and the prosciutto has completely changed into a crisp shell of salty, meaty deliciousness? Love at first bite! (or whatever that Eat, Pray, Love author would self-consciously say at this juncture.)

I served this alongside a runny-yolked fried egg. Both veg and protein were sprinkled with some of that leftover lemon zest. It’s not the best picture…soooo I guess you’ll have to try this recipe just so you can send me a better picture to put up!


Okay, so obviously prosciutto is not generally in the “healthy” category. It is FULL OF SALT. This is why it’s in the Treats category! Also, though, just because something is a treat food doesn’t mean you should go overboard with it. Pleasure diminishes with every bite, so why not limit the number of bites of each dish? And if you’re still hungry, just add in more (healthy) dishes! I recommend four asparagus stalks as a serving size- here that is with two slices of prosciutto because I ripped them in half.

Meal Cost:

1 bundle of asparagus- $1.50
1 pack prosciutto– $8.00
lemon- $0.40
olive oil- pantry
garlic powder- pantry
S&P- pantry

Total Calories:

16 asparagus spears- 50ish
8 slices of prosciutto– 144
1/2 lemon, zested- 2
1 tbsp olive oil- 120
egg- 70 calories

Okay SO: the cost of this is a little steep, obviously. But that’s all the more reason to see this recipe as a special-occasions treat food! The total cost of this side (feeding 4 people) is $9.90!  Calories per person come to 79 for just the wrapped asparagus; it’s 149 calories per person if you each complete your meal with a fried egg. Happy eating!


2 responses to “Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus with Lemon Zest

  1. made this last night for my gf’s parents… pretty sure they fell in love with me too!! awesome recipe ms claire! Oh and no joke, her mom said “wow, this is so ELEGANT”. HA.

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