Date Night & Roasted Asparagus

We don’t get to go out to eat very often, but when we do go I have a habit of ordering something without knowing or asking what it is.

I’ll order something with an Italian name that looks easy to pronounce, and if something on the menu is followed by “della casa” or “alla Fiorentina” then that’s usually what I want to try. When the waiter brings it to me, I’m usually pleasantly surprised.

Not always. I thought trippa was seafood, like a type of fish. (Yikes.)

The asparagus at dinner was excellent though, and the next day we made it at home. This was easy to do. I’m not an advanced cook; just so you know, Doug usually does the cooking and I do the cleaning up. It’s great team effort when we both feel like we get the better end.

So yes, this was easy, and good for you! Much more so than the big bowl of tiramisú I ate for dessert.

That next morning after our date Doug went to our favorite corner store to buy the asparagus. It was early, so when he asked for asparagi, they took him outside to get it off the small white truck that was still delivering the fruits and vegetables.

I cannot even describe how huge this asparagus was. We just had to laugh.

Early spring is the peak season for asparagus. I learned that from the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle which has one entire chapter devoted completely to asparagus. That’s food appreciation. Did you know one asparagus plant can produce for twenty years? That’s a little bit of trivia.

So after we stood there gawking at and taking pictures of the asparagi, it was time to cook.

Roasted Asparagus with Prosciutto

1. Rinse the asparagus and cut off the tough bottom inch.

2. Spread the spears on a roasting tray or dish and drizzle a couple of tablespoons of olive oil over them. (Roll them so they are coated in the oil.)

3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

4. Roast in a preheated 425 degree (F) oven for about ten to twelve minutes.

5. Take them out of the oven and wrap a thin strip of prosciutto around them to tie them in bundles of three or four (but in our case they were so big that we wrapped just two spears together).

6. Back in the oven for a couple of minutes more.

7. Then I added a little bit of smoked cheese to the top and let it stay in the oven just long enough to make the cheese toasted and bubbly.

The total cooking time varies according to the size of the asparagus and how much you let it cool off when you wrap the prosciutto around it.

I ate this for a meal three days in a row, and I’m looking forward to having it some more.

What is your favorite date-night dish to recreate at home?
About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.

Comments

  1. Yum! This is a favorite at my house. We top it with halved grape tomatoes.
    MicheleQ´s last post…April morning snow

  2. Yum! I love asparagus and have my husband hooked on it now too. I will definately have to try this recipe.
    paisleypenguin´s last post…Enchiladas Por Favor

  3. That looks delish! Shall have to give it a go, we have a farmers table at Lovedale every 2 weeks and the sell the freshest asparagus, picked a few hours earlier, can’t wait to try the recipe!

  4. Animal Vegetable Miracle is definitely one of my favorite books– I learned so much from reading it!

    We have been enjoying a lot of asparagus lately, because it is SO good and fresh right now!

  5. I’ve made this before – it’s so easy and delish! AND my one-year-old loves it! He has quite the refined palate. :)

  6. Oh that looks so yummy! I just had some fresh asparagus in the fridge and cooked it tonight BEFORE I saw this, rats! I just cooked it in some olive oil but this looks so much better! I’ll have to get some more asparagus soon!
    Julie @ Just Julie´s last post…everyday spice

  7. We love asparagus too! Had it last night! I usually like it thinner though. We just toss with olive oil and garlic but I may have to give your recipe a shot! As much as I love asparagus, I love tiramusu even more! And in Italy, yum!
    Bernice
    Living the Balanced Life´s last post…3 ways to reduce stress in your life today

  8. We love to create appetizers after our children go to bed, yum! I do have a question for you though. I’m moving to Spain in a couple of months and I am, embarrassingly, concerned about finding a babysitter! How did you do it?! Any tips would be greatly appreciated (finding a babysitter is the one thing I have yet to perfect when moving place to place)!
    Betsy C.´s last post…Phase 1 Wrap-Up

  9. We’ve tried to recreate some tasty lobster tails from our favorite sushi restaurant. Also, some of the simple vinegarette’s on salad’s, which never seem to turn out the same at home.

    I was traveling in Europe with one of my best friend’s and she ordered escalope, thinking it was shrimp. It was veal. klm;=]iotyut (my daughter decided to share her thoughts…)

  10. Had asparagus at home. Made it tonight with some roasted potatoes. TO DIE FOR!
    paisleypenguin´s last post…Enchiladas Por Favor

  11. We love appetizers, anything small and cute! I usually take pictures whenever we dine out so that I can attempt to present them the same way whenever we have a date night at home! After all, we eat with our eyes first! I love your blog Rachel:-)

  12. Mmmmm, this is one of my favorites. I love making it with goat’s milk brie wrapped inside the prosciutto. It’s delish. :)

  13. Yum, I’m cooking the asparagus for dinner domani! Thanx for sharing your great adventure!

  14. Oh, that looks amazing. For something special, I love to make pizza from scratch, or Vietnamese ‘bun’ (noodle salad).
    Lau@corridorkitchen´s last post…Behind the Scenes at the Coffee Roaster- Alexandria

  15. I don’t know why we haven’t done this before — what a welcome change frome the take-out pizza we get, if we have anything, after our little one is in bed.
    jennifer´s last post…SCI Knitting News and Challenge

  16. I’m still laughing – that is some seriously BIG asparagus!! I have never liked the stuff, but maybe fresh with a whole bunch of yumminess on it might change my mind. ;-) Also, we have the same agreement in our house – he cooks, I clean up – and it’s a win-win for both of us! Looks like you’re having a great time…I’m guessing it will be hard to leave in many ways. Enjoy your time and Blessings!
    Carrie´s last post…Little Bits of Me

  17. Prosciutto and Asparagus is one of our absolute favorites!! We spent 3 months living in Rome a few years ago and it was a staple in our diets and it was sooo fresh from the Campo! We also wrap prosciutto around cooled breadsticks. Prosciutto wrapped anything is pretty much divine! Bon apetitio!

  18. Yum! Since we eat with our eyes, I try to make whatever we have for our meal look pretty on the plate. Sometimes it’s by grouping the colors together, making a pattern with the veggies, wiping up spills on the white plate before serving and taking the time to cut the veggies in smaller or unusual shapes. For example, run a fork down the side of the cucumber to expose white ridges. Cut the carrots on the bias or in long sticks (more like Chinese food). Simple works well!

  19. buon appetito-silly computer!

  20. I love asparagus…and date night! Our favorite date night dish isn’t really a dish…good cheese, good wine, fresh bread, grapes, crudites, maybe some salami (for my husband!). Relaxing and so good. The kids love doing it, too.
    Jenny W (The Housewife Project)´s last post…Granola Bars Round 2- A Nut and Dairy Free Version

  21. Mm, that is one of my favorite ways to do asparagus! Sometimes in the summer we wrap bundles in regular strips of bacon and grill them outside…also delicious!

    We went out for my bday in Dec, where I had a gnocchi with peppers, sausage, and corn in a butter emulsion sauce…which I recreated at home 2 nights later because it was SO good.
    Jessicah´s last post…Eleanor has fun with my mom every Thursday! They do lots of

  22. I hate asparagus lol. I do very much like the idea of ordering something without knowing what it is though. I try it too when abroad, but since I’m a vegetarian I want to make sure my food doesn’t contain any meat, so I usually end up in a rather complicated conversation with the waiter.
    Maaike Quinn @ A Gorgeous Life´s last post…The Paradox of Perfection Part I Or- How Empedocles Made Sure You Can’t Be Perfect

  23. Ha! I’m glad I’m in good company when it comes to gawking and being amazed by asparagus in Europe. Just last year I had a similar experience having arrived in Germany just as the first of the harvest – “spargel” or white asparagus – was making its way to the market and plate. Then to Italy, where it seemed to have an entirely different personality.

    I shared my visual and culinary journey on my blog: http://liberatedspaces.wordpress.com/2010/05/23/the-spargel-of-my-eye/

    I think you’ll enjoy the ride!

    (Hmmm…I’m inspired to go buy some for the weekend!)

  24. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe! Love simple healthy meals and asparagus has been on sale lately! Have a great day!

  25. This sounds delicious. Wow. I can’t wait to try it! So I have a funny story about “trippa” myself. My husband and I spent three weeks in Italy two summers ago. We were in Florence and stopped at a little restaurant to eat, and my husband asked the server what she recommended. She told him to try the trippa. He actually speaks Italian fluently (he spent two years there on a mission for our church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, aka the Mormons), but wasn’t familiar with the word, so he asked her to describe it. I speak no Italian at all (the furthest I got in my Italian language CDs was “Dove la piazza?”), but I had a sneaking suspicion that he wasn’t going to be happy with la trippa. It was probably because I couldn’t speak Italian that I just thought of the closest-sounding English word and started put two-and-two together. It wasn’t until I heard her say, “stomaco” that I started kicking my husband under the table and frantically shaking my head. That was a crisis narrowly averted!

    Anyway, thanks again for the great recipe. I loved our short short time in Italy, and look forward every day to hearing more about your time there. You are an inspiration!!

  26. Rachel, I was a bit relieved to hear that Doug does the cooking in your house. I was starting to think you were superwoman (but I didn’t see you mention packing a cape in your suitcase to Italy)!

    Nihara’s last blog post: http://www.doing-too-much.com/2011/04/be-wary-of-batch-processing.html

  27. I have a very adventurous friend who came to visit when I lived in East Boston. We went to the local Italian restaurant on a Friday night, and the nightly special was Tripe. He ordered it without asking any questions. When it came, he asked, “what kind of fish IS this?” The waiter chuckled and explained. David, to his credit, kept eating it, adapting his expectations accordingly. “Not bad,” was the verdict. I did not try it.

    It’s so rare that I find anything out in the public sphere that I would want to make at home anymore, since nearly everything I see has either gluten, dairy or soy in it. But, speaking of prosciutto, I was walking through Whole Foods a few days ago, and someone offered a wine sample. I looked down expecting to see cubes of cheese, but they had cubes of prosciutto-wrapped cantaloupe instead! I didn’t buy the wine, but did head over to the check out the prosciutto!
    Catherine´s last post…Me time- full circle

  28. WOW! That asparagus is so big it looks like it could eat one of your kids. I wish we could find fresh veggies like that where I live.
    Jennifer´s last post…A soy-free- vegan life

  29. That looks delicious…I definitely see an attempt to recreate this in my future! Also, I think that Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is a must-read for everyone…one of the more enlightening books I have read in awhile.

  30. I just discovered your blog this weekend and I am MADLY in love. So in love that, while I HATE asparagus… this post actually made my mouth water! Like, I kinda wanna eat asparagus now!

  31. Oh, asparagus is my fiance’s favorite vegetable. I’m sending him the recipe now – I can’t have it right now as I’m on GAPS, but he’ll love it.
    Maggie @ Maggie’s Nest´s last post…What’s GAPS And Why Now

  32. Holy asparagus! Looks delicious :)
    Tara´s last post…Headin up North!

  33. I just had to laugh regarding your “trippa” comment, because my husband did the same thing. On a recent trip to Italy he one night decided he wanted to be adventuresome and ordered the trippa in a wonderful red sauce. He kept taking bites and saying to me, “This fish has the strangest texture.” We still laugh about it! I have a more varied palate and actually thought it was quite good.

  34. My hubby is too “time fluid” for a regular date-night, but he loves everything I cook. In late summer, our favorite is a tomato and goat cheese tart. The recipe makes two tarts and we eat them for every and meal until they’re gone!

  35. time-saving [and dish-saving] tip: you can just break off the ends of the asparagus instead of cutting them.

    anyway, one of my fav dishes of all time is this rosemary and carmelized onion flatbread with pesto, warm goat cheese, and roasted tomatoes and peppers. i recreated it at home once, including the flatbread from scratch. i decided it was totally worth it to pay $8 for the appetizer at the restaurant down the street [and the subsequent moeny on sodas and main dishes for the hubby] instead of doing all that myself!

  36. Seriously! Those are some huge asparagus! Thanks for sharing the recipe. We are asparagus eaters here in my house. I will be making this ASAP!
    Anita´s last post…Warrior Dash and 5K Training

  37. Trippa! My husband, thankfully, had that mistake before I could. ;)
    Alie´s last post…Tuscany- tomorrow

  38. Roasting is the only way I ever cook asparagus! I’ve never gone to the work of wrapping it, but it looks fantastic!
    My daughter eats her asparagus with ketchup…Yuck. I’ll let her eat it with ketchup as long as she eats it.
    That was some seriously HUGE asparagus! I am planting asparagus in my new garden, it takes 2-3 years before I can harvest so I am already impatiently awaiting my very own homegrown asparagus. Should be a long 2 years!

  39. Now that I know that asparagus can produce for up to 20 years, I think I’ll go plant a few! :)
    Megan @ Faith Like Mustard´s last post…Becoming a Happy Homemaker

  40. Courtney says:

    We are lucky enough to have wild asparagus growing all around us. This time of year, it’s common to see people pulled off to the side of the road picking asparagus.

    Believe it or not, asparagus can actually get much bigger than that. The thicker part of the stalk tends to be chewy and stringy, though. If you only want the tender part, find the natural snapping point – where you can snap the stalk instead of cutting it.

  41. That looks wonderful. I just made a pasta dish with orzo and asparagus last night. I got the recipe from Shaina @ Food For My Family. It is delicious!

    http://foodformyfamily.com/recipes/spring-orzo-pasta-salad-with-asparagus-and-artichokes
    Rana´s last post…This Moment

  42. Oh, I did the same. exact. thing. in Florence on vacation a few years ago! The tripe was awful (or offal?) :) (I also learned that when I saw translations to english, they were all to England’s english, not American, so even then I sometimes couldn’t figure it out! :)

  43. I was also inspired by Barbara Kingsolver’s asparagus-love in AVM. I have only eaten (and enjoyed!) the kind I buy at our local H-E-B, and I’ve always felt deprived that I’ve never had any fresh-grown!

    Now that we’re in a home to stay, I’m going to plant some to enjoy in a few years. :-)
    Lindsey´s last post…Abby likes brown gravy!

  44. Asparagus is my favorite vegetable. My dad had an asparagus patch when I was little. I would love to have my own.

  45. We make a cold appetizer that’s similar to this….trim and blanch the asparagus in boiling water until it’s bright green, then throw it in ice water to stop the cooking. Spread veggie cream cheese on slices of prosciutto, then wrap the asparagus spears individually. Super tasty, keeps well in the fridge, and it’s a nice healthy-ish alternative to bring to parties, instead of more bread and dips…

  46. Holy cow, that tiramisu looks amazing. I love cooking paella…kind of threw a bunch of stuff in a pot one night and it turned into a great Spanish-style rice dish. Yum!
    Christine´s last post…Lifeline

  47. Yum! Sounds fabulous. We’ll be there in Florence a few short weeks and I must admit I’m looking forward to the tripe, but then menudo is big in Tucson. Sorry we’ll miss you.
    Tepary´s last post…Here we are again – Adoption

  48. Looks easy and delicious–will give it a try.

  49. Hi! I included this post in this weeks from my reader round-up. Loved the post and thought it would be super useful to my friends and readers. On another note, your blog was the first blog I started to follow religiously. Thank you for so much inspiration!

  50. This.sounds.delish! Can’t wait to try it, just hope my small town grocer carries prosciutto.
    Kelly´s last post…Spinach Salad with Wasabi Dressing