Wednesday, November 25, 2009


This is another great appetizer, simple to make, and suitable for a formal occasion as well as casual snacking. It keeps at room temperature and travels well, so it's one of my favorites when I need to bring an appetizer somewhere.  It needs to be made the day you are serving it to preserve the crispness of the phyllo.

You'll need asparagus,
1/2 package of Athens phyllo dough
butter to melt
parmesan cheese optional
salt and pepper optional

The phyllo dough should be thawed in the refrigerator overnight if possible, or you can leave it on the counter until you can unroll it.

 Preheat the oven to 400-425

I usually line a sheet pan with parchment paper to ensure these don't stick, but this isn't necessary if you don't have any.  Use a silpat, or just oil the pan lightly.

Prepare asparagus by snapping the bottom end from each individual spear.

Melt butter - a half stick should be plenty for enough dough for a pound of asparagus. Stack 3 standard 9x13 Athens phyllo sheets, brushing each sheet with butter before you add another sheet. Brush the top sheet lightly with butter as well.

Cut the stack in half the short way, and then cut about half a dozen strips from each half, which will be about 1 1/2 inch by 6 1/2 inches.

Wrap each spear with a strip at an angle, and place on the baking sheet. Brush the asparagus spear with a little melted butter or olive oil as well.  sprinkle a little parmesan cheese on the phyllo strip if you'd like.  I prefer them plain.  Repeat as many times as you need to in order to cover all your asparagus (you could probably cover about 6 dozen spears with 1/2 package of phyllo).

Roast until the phyllo is pleasantly golden, but be careful not to overcook the asparagus, which should be tender-crisp.  This should take no longer than 15 minutes, depending on the temperature you've chosen.

I sprinkle a little salt and black pepper on the asparagus when it comes out of the oven.

It's important not to cover the asparagus tightly if you are traveling with it, or the phyllo will absorb moisture and lose it's crispness.

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