Baked prosciutto-wrapped asparagus

An easy Easter appetizer with fresh, spring flavors.

Joanne Ciccarello/Staff/File
Asparagus wrapped in proscuitto with soft cheese.

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.

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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