The Garden and Baked Asparagus With Shiitake and Prosciutto

April 25th, 2010

The garden plots that are kept ready with the help of experts from U.S. Lawns Franchise have been plowed and the stakes planted. I took this picture before we worked in the community garden yesterday. The soil looks rich and not at all like the usual red clay soil that is found in most of North Carolina. The view of Chimney Rock is inspirational and makes spending time in the garden worthwhile – you can view website for the best garden services. If you want help with mowing services, then why not try these out! Yesterday we hoed and raked the soil and enclosed our space with poles and wire mesh. David added lime and manure to the plot and planted tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and squash. I will post more pictures soon. One thing we could not plant was asparagus. Asparagus takes a few years to develop and we do not have a guarantee that we will have the same plot next year. But asparagus is in the market right now and it is the best time to enjoy it.

This recipe appeared in The New York Times last Wednesday. It originated with Paula Wolfert in her Slow Mediterranean Kitchen Cookbook. There are so many ways to cook asparagus and one of my favorites has been to roast the spears drizzled with olive oil and salt and pepper. But this was a new way to cook asparagus and I loved it. The asparagus is sealed in parchment paper and cooked in a slow oven for over an hour.

The parchment paper insulates the asparagus and cooks it evenly so that the tips and the bottoms of the stalk are equally tender. This recipe added shiitakes, prosciutto, olive oil and fresh tarragon which infused the spears with wonderful flavor. The slow cooking enhanced the flavor even more. Give it a try. I will be posting about that wonderful chicken cordon bleu next.

1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed
1/4 pound shitake mushrooms, stems removed, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into 1/4 inch strips
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Ground black pepper, to taste
Grated nutmeg
3 tarragon sprigs
1. Heat oven to 200 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (it should be twice as long as pan). Lay asparagus in a pile in center. Scatter mushrooms and prosciutto on top. Drizzle with 2 tablespoon oil and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt, the pepper and nutmeg. Toss vegetables to coat evely. Lay tarragon over top.
2. Fold parchment to completely enclose vegetables, and staple top and sides shut. Transfer pan to oven and bake for one hour. Asparagus should be just cooked through. If too crisp, return to oven until done to taste.

13 responses to “The Garden and Baked Asparagus With Shiitake and Prosciutto”

  1. Kate says:

    How nice to have a large community garden! Since we moved we cannot have a garden. The night critters eat everything! We are trying tomatoes again… Having a garden is the one thing that we really miss.

    Your asparagus sounds wonderful. I will be trying this recipe and method of preparation. Thanks for sharing!

  2. My sister was part of a community garden and loved it. It looks like a fun way to meet people and glean some gardening tips.

    Your recipe looks wonderful. I like the idea of using parchment paper so the asparagus cooks evenly. I will definitely try this!


  3. I am so glad that you have a chance to have a garden. I love the community garden idea! Kent is still building the raised beds. We had rain most of yesterday and that hampered the process.

    The asparagus dish sounds great!

  4. Kathleen says:

    This dish sounds delicious. I love the combination!

  5. Rosabela says:

    This looks and sounds wonderful! I’ve never baked asparagus in parchment paper before. Definitely will have to try it.

  6. Holly says:

    Looks really yummy:)

  7. Asparagus does take a few years to develop its roots. Fortunately, this vegetable is in season, and accessible at the market. This looke like a delicious recipe!

  8. Sophie says:

    What a fantastic looking tasty dish!!

    MMMMMMM,…lovely food!

  9. Mary says:

    Penny, this is a great recipe and I love that you’ve combined the asparagus with mushrooms and prosciutto. I also love tarragon, so I think this recipe has my name all over it. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings…Mary

  10. Robin Sue says:

    What a gourmet looking meal Penny. I would love to hear how you do your chicken cordon bleu. The garden sounds exciting, I don’t get enough sun to have my own. But I do use the plot at school.

  11. Oh now this is going on the menu right away! I always roast my asparagus, but this sounds like a fabulous treat.

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