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Baked prosciutto-wrapped asparagus

An easy Easter appetizer with fresh, spring flavors.

By John Edward YoungCorrespondent / April 21, 2011

Asparagus wrapped in proscuitto with soft cheese.

Joanne Ciccarello/Staff/File

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Looking for an easy Easter appetizer recipe? John Edward Young, a regular contributor to the Monitor's food pages, offered this appetizer in a Monitor article titled, "Appetizing hor d'ouevres" (Dec. 9, 2009). It is simple to prepare, delicious, and combines all of the flavors of Easter and spring into fun finger food.

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We are reprinting it below to help ensure your holiday meal is off to a festive and tasty start.

Baked prosciutto-wrapped asparagus

12 thick asparagus spears, with tough ends trimmed off
6 thin slices of prosciutto (try imported Prosciutto de Parma)
2 ounces whipped cream cheese at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives (optional)
Ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Blanch asparagus in boiling, salted water for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the spears. Plunge into iced water. Drain and blot on paper towels.

In a small bowl, combine cream cheese with garlic powder, chives, and pepper.

Spread a small amount of cheese mixture over each prosciutto half and, starting at the bottom end of asparagus, wrap prosciutto diagonally around each spear.

Lightly spray a baking sheet with vegetable cooking oil.

Arrange prosciutto-wrapped asparagus on baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.

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