I make regular visits to JLK Asparagus Farms during the short season. I always enjoy visiting with my friend Lisa who owns the farm with her husband Jake. I recently talked to her about how she would recommend cooking jumbo asparagus and she told me she wraps it in bacon along with some cheese and bakes it. Of course I had to try it. Anything is better with bacon!
I would usually snap the ends off asparagus to ensure it breaks off at the woody part but these jumbo asparagus are so thick they might break in half so by using freshly cut spears you just have to cut a small amount off. And the asparagus is always super fresh here!
Using a sharp paring knife, slice the spears lengthwise from just under the tip to an inch from the bottom. Slice very thin pieces of Parmesan cheese and garlic. Slide them into the opening of the asparagus. It helps if you put the tip of the knife in the slice and twist it to open it up. If you happen to break the spear open, don’t worry, the bacon will hold it all together. Slide the parmesan in first, then fit in the thin slices of garlic.
Use real parmesan cheese. Not the kind in the cardboard container that’s pre shredded. Seriously. It may seem like the real chunk of Parmesan is expensive but if you compare the volume you get when you shred the entire piece with how much is in the cardboard container, it’s not more expensive. And I don’t know exactly how much real parmesan is in there and how much is filler but….I’m suspicious.
How to wrap asparagus in bacon
Wrap each asparagus with one uncooked slice of bacon in a spiral so that most of the spear is covered. You can stretch the bacon a bit and overlap slightly so when it shrinks it helps hold everything in place.
You can also use prosciutto. It’s wider than regular bacon so cut the pieces lengthwise in half and wrap using the same spiral direction as above.
You need to cook these long enough for the bacon to get crispy but you don’t want all the cheese to melt out so use a really good Parmesan which is hard and dry so it doesn’t ooze out. Bacon, cheese and garlic…..a delicious trilogy!
Cook these either in a hot oven or on the barbecue. Either way they’re a crispy, salty, cheesy delight! If you use the oven, heat it to 400 degrees and place them on parchment paper so they don’t stick. If you grill them on the barbecue make sure to lay them on the grill crosswise and roll them around until they’re evenly charred. You don’t want to asparagus to over cook or it gets too soft.
They’re done when the bacon is sizzling and crispy. They take about 15 minutes in the oven but are quicker on the barbecue.
Bacon Wrapped Jumbo Asparagus with Parmesan and Garlic is similar to Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus only slightly more decadent!
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