This is a simple Springtime meal. Asparagus is in season now so we’ve been roasting it and enjoying the bounty. You can do the prep in advance and both recipes can also be used for appetizers at a party. You can also serve either as a side dish, as I have done for dinner with poached eggs.
First, let’s talk about the polenta cake recipe; because you have to make it advance and refrigerate before slicing and broiling – just a heads up. It can be made up to 2 days in advance.
I point this out first because I hate when you say Oh! I’d love to make this for dinner and low and behold you don’t have the time… So hey, you are gonna need to make this polenta a couple hours in advance of making the cakes. Hope that helps! Oh and P.S. It’s totally worth it.
- 2 cups milk
- 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 garlic clove smashed
- 3/4 cup polenta
- 1/2 cup shredded cheese, your choice, optional
– we used pepper jack, but Gruyere, Parmesan, and Gouda are all lovely too.
- salt and pepper, to taste
DIRECTIONS: In a 4-quart pot bring 2 cups milk, 2 1/2 cups broth, and 1 smashed garlic clove to boil over medium-high heat; let boil for about 2 minutes. Remove garlic clove and stir in 3/4 cup of polenta, while whisking. Continue to whisk until it begins to thicken. Reduce heat to low, stir in 1/2 cup shredded cheese, salt, and pepper, and simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Cook until polenta is creamy and pulls away from pan when stirred. About 20 to 25 minutes.
Pour the polenta into an oiled 8×8 inch baking dish, let it cool completely and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled and set. About an hour (or up to 2 days).
Once ready to cook: Preheat broiler. Then cut polenta into 8 (or more) wedges and pat dry. Arrange on baking sheet and brush with oil. Cook under broiler (about 5-6 inches from broiler) for 6 to 8 minutes, turning pan once during cooking. If making with the asparagus this can all be done on one baking sheet.
PROSCIUTTO WRAPPED ASPARAGUS
- Asparagus, cleaned and 1 1/2 inches cut from bottom
- 1 Tablespoon
- Prosciutto, cut in half lengthwise
DIRECTIONS: Preheat broiler. Make sure asparagus is clean, line the asparagus up from the tips on a cutting board and remove 1 to 1 1/2 inch from the bottoms. Pile on cookie sheet and pour on 1 Tablespoon of oil (per bundle of asparagus), sprinkle with salt & pepper and toss to cover. Now take one slice of Prosciutto per asparagus and starting under the scaled tip wrap each spear in a downward spiral towards the end. Arrange on the cookie sheet so they are not touch, this allows them to crisp instead of steam. Once all your asparagus is prepared, cook under the broiler (5-6 inches away) for 6 to 8 minutes, halfway through remove the pan and flip the asparagus over, turning the pan once returned to the oven.
The asparagus will get charred on the tip and other bits and the prosciutto will crisp up and brown. Serve while warm.
It’s a wonderful way to enjoy asparagus and plays well on it’s own or served with breakfast. You can never go wrong with eggs & ham. Plus the polenta cakes are warm, creamy, cheesy with a hint of garlic and the perfect way to round out any meal – even breakfast.
Here’s to vegetables wrapped in delicious meat. Here is to warmer weather.
Here is to simple Springtime suppers and lighter fare for the warm days to come.