Crispy Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus from the Grill

Summertime is grill time! We avoid heating up the house by moving the cooking outside. Summertime grilling is relaxing, delicious, and easy. Meat is typically the centerpiece of a grilled meal – chicken, fish, pork and beef are all delicious when grilled. If you usually prepare the meat outside, then pair it with side dishes you have to make in the kitchen, we’ve got a great idea that will have you preparing the entire meal outside. These crispy prosciutto wrapped asparagus from the grill will be on your plate in just minutes – no running back inside to the kitchen for more cooking.

Asparagus is delicious prepared in the oven, but if you’ve never grilled it, you’ll be delighted with the result. The spears stay crisp, but the char from the grill brings out the amazing flavor.

The recipe for this dish can hardly be called a recipe at all. It’s more of a method, and an easy one at that. It consists primarily of brushing the asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper, then wrapping each spear with a slice of super-thin prosciutto. Place them on the grill over direct heat – both gas and charcoal work great for this dish – and grill for 5-6 minutes, turning once. They are done when the prosciutto is crisp and the stalks are crisp-tender.

Prosciutto wrapped asparagus

What sends these crispy prosciutto wrapped asparagus from the grill over the top is a tangy balsamic vinaigrette that’s drizzled on top. To make it, combine these ingredients:

1 large clove of garlic

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

? cup balsamic vinegar

¼ teaspoon each Kosher salt and black pepper

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Prepare this mixture before you grill the asparagus and set aside to let the flavors incorporate. Once the asparagus is removed from the grill, drizzle this vinaigrette over the top.

You can also use a balsamic vinegar reduction for a tangy alternative. Simply combine 1 cup of balsamic vinegar and one tablespoon of sugar in a small pot on the stovetop and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and the sauce will thicken as it cools. The result is a delicious sweet and tangy drizzling sauce that’s also perfect with these prosciutto wrapped asparagus spears.

This dish makes a wonderful side to grilled meat as part of a delectable summertime dinner. It also makes an impressive appetizer, though it doesn’t transport as well as others. If you plan to bring this to a summertime potluck, prepare the drizzling sauce and the asparagus (coat with oil, season and wrap with prosciutto) ahead of time, then place on the grill at your destination, provided it’s available.

Beyond grilling, these can also be prepared in the oven. Use the broiler for quick cooking to maintain crispness of the asparagus.

We love the colorful presentation of these bright green spears placed on a white plate and drizzled with the dark balsamic reduction. Garnish with fresh tomato slices if desired – they are superb with the balsamic as well!

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Summer Citrus Cupcakes

Nothing says summer like the fresh flavors of citrus. Tart lemons and oranges bursting with flavor are delicious and refreshing. We capture the essence of summer in these summer citrus cupcakes. Lemon would be an obvious choice for these, but we like the understated and delicious flavor of orange in this recipe. Incorporating both orange juice and orange zest keeps the star ingredient front and center with delicious results. You can interchange lemons, grapefruits, limes or oranges here with a variety of flavorful results.

Begin by zesting and juicing two large oranges. Set aside, and then follow this recipe.

citrus cupcake

Ingredients

1 stick unsalted butter, softened at room temperature

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs, separated

Zest grated from 2 oranges

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice

Preheat oven to 350. Cream butter and sugar, adding egg yolks one at a time. Add orange zest. Sift dry ingredients together, and then add them to the butter mixture, alternating adding orange juice as well. Beat egg whites until stiff and gently fold them into the batter. Pour batter into a cupcake pan lined with cupcake liners (or well greased), and bake 18-22 minute until toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool cupcakes completely before icing.

Orange Buttercream Frosting

3/4 cup butter, softened

2 teaspoons grated orange zest

1 box (16 ounces) powdered sugar

2-3 tablespoons fresh orange juice

Combine butter and orange zest in a mixer then add the powdered sugar gradually, beating until well blended. Add the orange juice until frosting is the desired consistency. For stronger flavor, use orange extract instead of juice. You’ll only need about 1/8 of a teaspoon, so thin the frosting with a little milk as needed.

Pipe the frosting onto cooled cupcakes and garnish with candied orange peel, a curl of fresh peel, or a mint leaf.

Capture the taste of summer in this delicious treat. It’s perfect for summer birthdays, office parties, barbecues, potlucks and more. The orange flavor is sweet and just a little tart and the buttercream intensifies the flavor in every bite. Try this recipe for summer citrus cupcakes today!

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