Warm Asparagus Appetizer with Parma Ham
This recipe makes a great appetizer at a barbecue but you should grill your ham and asparagus before adding the rest of your food to the grill, so the flavors do not get mixed up. Adding a chicken or steak flavor to this would not work so well! If you are looking for an unusual side dish or tasty appetizer, this recipe is really good.
The warm potatoes are combined with asparagus and Parma ham, both of which are grilled to perfection, and a piquant honey, mustard, oil and vinegar dressing completes the dish. You can serve this delicious asparagus appetizer in big lettuce leaves or without the lettuce. They look especially nice served in the leaves though, so choose a firm type of lettuce which has curved leaves and will hold its shape when you spoon this salad into a leaf. Iceberg is ideal.
Warm salads are always delicious and this one is no exception. Serve it while the potatoes are still warm, and while the asparagus and Parma ham are warm too. They do not need to be piping hot, although the dressing and non-cooked ingredients will cool the rest down a bit. If you want to serve this alone, as lunch or supper, you might like to serve some French bread and butter on the side, or serve this on a bed of rice.
- 1 lb peeled new potatoes
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 thinly sliced bunch green onions
- 8 slices Parma ham
- 1 lb asparagus
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 6 large iceberg lettuce leaves (or similar)
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Preheat the grill to medium-hot.
- Whisk the honey and mustard with the red wine vinegar.
- Gradually whisk in the olive oil.
- Season this dressing with salt and pepper.
- Cut the potatoes into quarters and boil them for 10 minutes or until tender.
- Preheat a griddle pan.
- Snap the woody ends off the asparagus and toss the spears in olive oil.
- Put them on the griddle pan and grill for 5 minutes or until they are tender.
- Depending how big your pan is, you might need to do this in 2, or even 3, batches.
- Tear the Parma ham into thick strips and cook them on the griddle pan until crispy and golden.
- Toss the potatoes, Parma ham, asparagus, and green onions together.
- Whisk the dressing again, if it has separated, then stir it in to the salad.
- Fill each iceberg lettuce leaf with some of the asparagus salad and serve warm.
You can see that this is a salad of contrasts, the crispy Parma ham contrasting with the softer lettuce. This delicious salad contains potatoes to make it more filling, as well as delicious asparagus and green onions. The piquant dressing is delicious too. If you want to adapt the recipe, you could use red onion instead of green onions, or use pancetta instead of Parma ham. Keep the asparagus in the recipe though – without the asparagus it would not be anywhere near as delicious. Whether you serve this as a snack, appetizer, or side dish, everyone is sure to be thrilled with its wonderful flavor and texture combination.
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