Of course, these days asparagus is available almost year-round, but the off-season produce from South America has never seemed as tasty to us and the real home-grown treasure.
There are many ways to prepare asparagus and this week we’re able to bring one way that sounds especially intriguing. The following recipe was created by Chef Jason Wilson of Miller’s Guild, The Lakehouse and Civility & Unrest for the Washington Asparagus Commission.
Grilled Asparagus, Aged Balsamic Vinegar, Arugula, Prosciutto
16-20 large (jumbo) asparagus spears; stalks peeled and bases trimmed
so that all spears are the same length
½ lb fresh chevre
2 cups fresh arugula
3 radishes, shaved thin, reserved
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp heavy cream
8 slices prosciutto
3 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp large flake sea salt
¼ cup toasted hazelnuts, rough chopped
1.5 tbsp finely chopped preserved lemon
1 tbsp finely chopped shallots
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp minced chives
Bake the prosciutto on a baking sheet pan at 350F for 25 minutes or until the prosciutto is crispy like a cracker; give it some time to cool then crumble the pieces randomly into shards. Sweat the shallots and garlic in 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil for 1 minute on high heat. Add the preserved lemon, lemon juice and a pinch of salt, reserve. Blanch 1 cup of the arugula in boiling salted water and arrest cooking after 5 seconds in ice water. Wring the arugula dry, puree with the cream and 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil in a blender or food processor. Whip the arugula puree into the chevre so that chevre is green/off-green and season with flake salt so it is flavorful.
Grill the asparagus until charred and cooked well on all sides, the asparagus should get brighter green when it is ready to pull off the grill, roughly 4 minutes on high. Remove asparagus into a large mixing bowl and add the chopped parsley and chives, add the lemon vinaigrette mixture and a little additional olive oil. Toss the asparagus in the marinade, add the hazelnuts and prosciutto shards, toss again.
To plate, place a generous amount of the seasoned arugula chevre on a plate, spread it around evenly. Place the asparagus mixture evenly on top, garnish with arugula, radishes, aged balsamic vinegar and a little flake sea salt.