This Asparagus Cigarillos Recipe is a treat on its own if it’s just the two of you; otherwise dive in there with some warmed flatbread and a tomato salad close at hand.
A cult collection of goodies, neatly wrapped into parcels. Parma ham turns super crispy in the oven, and feta soft and mousse like.
– 300g finger-thick asparagus (trimmed weight)
– 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
– Sea salt & black pepper
– 8 slices Parma or other air-dried ham
– 125g feta, cut across into thin strips about 8cm long
– 1 large slice coarse-textured day-old white bread, crusts removed
– 2 tsp thyme leaves
1. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add the asparagus and simmer for 3 minutes, then drain it into a colander, pass under the cold tap and leave to cool. Toss with a tablespoon of the oil and some seasoning.
2. Preheat the oven to 200°C fan/220°C/gas mark 7.
3. Lay 2–3 asparagus spears across one end of each slice of ham with their tips protruding above the fat.
4. Lay a slice of feta on top within the ham, then roll up into a parcel and arrange in a row in a roasting pan, feta upwards.
5. Whizz the bread to coarse crumbs or nibs in a food processor, and toss in a bowl with a tablespoon of oil and the thyme. Scatter over and around the parcels. (You can prepare them to this point well in advance, in which case cover and chill.)
6. Drizzle over a little more oil and bake for 15–20 minutes until the crumbs are golden.
Annie Bell recently completed a Master of Science degree in Human Nutrition. In The Modern Dairy, she sets out to overturn the myths and misconceptions surrounding dairy with over 100 innovative recipes that maximise the best ways to consume dairy, to derive all the goodness it has to offer without the pitfalls. anniebell.net
The Modern Dairy by Annie Bell is published by Kyle Books. Photography by Con Poulos.