asparagus

Grilled Asparagus w/Fresh Mozzarella, Crispy Prosciutto, & Cantaloupe

At first, this may seem like an unusual mix of flavors, but really, it’s a natural marriage of deliciousness.  We all know prosciutto and melon go well, and you can’t ever really go wrong with fresh mozzarella.  Throw all that on some grilled asparagus and top it off with some lemon dressing and toasted pine nuts and things are looking pretty tasty, right?  It’s refreshing, it’s flavorful, and it’s super light.  What’s not to like?!
This recipe is actually a Giada original… I had made it years ago a few times and really liked it.  I sort of forgot about it until recently, when I made this batch here.  My uncle was having a little post-Thanksgiving get together- the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  I’d already had two Thanksgivings that weekend, so was trying to rack my brain for a veggie dish that I hadn’t already eaten four times that weekend.  My boyfriend so ingeniously recommended this one… yay, it was the perfect veggie dish- it strayed from the average Thanksgiving feast enough, yet still worked well with all the flavors of Autumn and Thanksgiving :)
I usually use my indoor grill this time of year… it’s the end of fall, it’s cold, and I don’t want to stand outside by the grill.  If you do, more power to you, but don’t fret if you don’t feel like grilling outdoors either… an indoor grill or even your oven will work just fine!  Just cook the asparagus ’til al dente, or however you like, and top it with all this goodness!  You can enjoy warm, at room-temp, or cool.  It’s nice and easy like that :)

If you haven’t had baked prosciutto, you’re really missing out.  I’m not even a big red meat girl and I love the stuff.  It’s so delicate and light, yet packed with insane flavor.  A toaster oven will do the trick just fine… just get that stuff nice and crispy and then crumble into little bite-sized pieces.  And good luck not eating it all before you serve the meal!!
Serves 8ish
INGREDIENTS
2 lbs asparagus, tough ends trimmed
1/4 large cantaloupe, cut into bite-sized cubes (about 2 cups)
8 oz fresh mozzarella, cut into bite-sized cubes (measures about 2 cups when cut)
1/4 lb (4 oz) sliced prosciutto
4 tbsp toasted pine nuts
olive oil, salt, and pepper- for grilling asparagus
for the dressing…
4 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp fresh lemon juice (1 large lemon)
salt and pepper, to taste
DIRECTIONS
Preheat grill to high
Slice melon in half and then quarter
Cut into small wedges and then remove skin
Chop into small bite-sized cubes (or triangles or rectangles or whatever shapes they make)
Then chop mozzarella… aim for similar sized pieces as the melon
Toss the melon and mozzarella in a large bowl
Now make dressing (the melon/mozzarella will marinate in it)
Juice a lemon (usually one lemon is about 4 tbsp)
Then add olive oil, salt, and pepper
Mix well and adjust seasonings to taste
Pour dressing over the melon and mozzarella
Stir and then refrigerate until ready to use
Now get ready to grill the asparagus…
Trim tough edges (some people suggest snapping the stalks- I personally prefer cutting them)
Add  a good drizzle of olive oil (about 2-3 tbsp), salt, and pepper
Toss to coat evenly
Then place on the grill (no greasing necessary since they have oil)
Try to arrange diagonally for nice grill lines
They will take about 5-10 minutes, depending on your grill, the size of the asparagus, and how crunchy or soft you like them… turn periodically to evenly brown
While the asparagus is grilling, begin prepping the prosciutto…
Lay slices on a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper (for easy clean up)
(I use my toaster oven tray since it fits them perfectly!)
Bake at at high temp (450) for about 12-15 minutes, until lightly brown and crispy
It will get crispier as it cools, but if you feel it’s not crispy enough
(it should easily snap in half), just bake it a little longer- it’ll get there!
When done, lay on a pepper towel to cool (and to soak up oil)
When cool, crumble into little pieces
Now’s a good time to get those pine nuts toasted…
Place them in a non-greased pan over med-high heat
They only need a few minutes- shake the pan to move them around and lightly brown all sides
Then toss into a little bowl until ready to use
Kay, ready to assemble!
Lay your grilled asparagus out onto a large platter/plate
Then top with the melon and mozzarella- pour the dressing out over it all too
Yumm… looks good already right?!
Then top with the crumbled crispy prosciutto and toasted pine nuts
Done… serve and enjoy!!

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About Me

Hi, I'm Natalie! I like to cook, eat, and adventure. I live in a little home with an itty-bitty kitchen, a crazy feline, and a very hungry boyfriend. Lots of cooking and devouring goes down here. Farmer's markets inspire me, as do the seasons and travel. I create simple recipes using wholesome real food. Enjoy!

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