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Prosciutto, Asparagus and Arugula Rolls

Prosciutto, Asparagus and Arugula Rolls

Chef Suzanne Lenzer prepares a mouth-watering appetizer from her cookbook, "Graze."
Ingredients for Rolls
  • Sea salt 
  • 1 pound pencil-thin asparagus, trimmed
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2–3 handfuls baby or wild arugula
  • 16 thin slices prosciutto (about ½ pound), each about 8" long
Ingredients for Marinated Beans
  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) gigante beans, rinsed and drained, or 1 cup dried beans, cooked according to package directions
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2–3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 4–6 pepperoncini, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 1–2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2–3 tablespoons sherry vinegar or other bright vinegar
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Ingredients for Sardine Bruschetta with Fennel and Preserved Lemons
  • 1 bulb fennel, halved and cored (fronds reserved)
  • 1 cup Preserved Lemons (page 22), with some of the juices
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cans (3.75 ounces each) oil-packed sardines
  • 12 slices rustic bread, toasted


Directions for Rolls

1) Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the asparagus to the pot and cook until bright green and just tender, about 3 minutes depending on thickness. Drain the asparagus and run immediately under cold water to stop the cooking process. Pat dry and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest, and about half the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Add the arugula and asparagus spears to the bowl and toss gently to coat, being careful not to snap the asparagus. Taste and add a bit more lemon juice if necessary.

2) On a large cutting board or work surface, arrange 4 slices of prosciutto vertically and slightly overlapping to form a 6" × 8" rectangle. Lay one-quarter of the dressed arugula and asparagus horizontally across the prosciutto on the end closest to you. Tightly roll up the prosciutto as you would a jelly roll, being sure to keep the vegetables evenly distributed.

3) Cut the rolls on the bias into 8 pieces and repeat with the remaining ingredients.

Directions for Beans

Put the beans in a lidded mason jar large enough to hold the other ingredients as well. Add the olive oil, lemon zest and juice, garlic, pepperoncini, and oregano. Stir gently to combine so you don’t smash the beans, and taste for brightness. Add enough sherry vinegar to give the marinade a bit of tang but not enough to overpower—the beans will get stronger as they sit.

Season the beans with salt and pepper and seal the jar. Let sit in the fridge for an hour or two, or overnight if possible. Give the jar a gentle shake every now and then to circulate the vinaigrette. Taste again and adjust the seasoning as needed. Serve straight from the jar with toothpicks for spearing (watch out for the smashed cloves of garlic, as they look remarkably like the beans after marinating).

Directions for Bruschetta

1) Use a mandoline to cut the fennel halves into paper-thin slices and then transfer to a medium bowl.

2) Roughly chop the preserved lemons until they resemble a relish and add them to the fennel along with any juices—the idea is to let the liquid from the lemons dress the raw fennel and then allow it all to macerate. Season with salt and pepper as needed.

3) While the fennel and lemons sit, drain the sardines of their oil and place them in a small bowl. Use a fork to mash the sardines into a rough paste. If the mixture seems a bit dry, add a teaspoon or so of the oil from the can. You want the paste to be spreadable, but you don’t want it to lose all texture.

4) To serve, spread about a teaspoon of the sardine paste on each slice of toast and add a tangle of the fennel-lemon mixture. Top each toast with a pinch of fresh fennel fronds.

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