Monday, April 25, 2011

Grilled Pancetta-Wrapped Asparagus

Easter was an eating-fest, but I tried to make a few dishes that stayed within the paleo realm. Asparagus are my favorite vegetable, so you will see them appearing in many of my recipes. This version makes a wonderful appetizer. You can serve them right off the grill, or make them early and serve them as finger food at room temperature. The pancetta has a nice salty pork flavor, a little more intense than bacon. You can buy it in the deli, or pre-packaged in the deli section.

1 pound fresh asparagus (about 12)
3 ounces pancetta (or bacon if you can’t find pancetta)
Olive oil
Sea salt and pepper
Balsamic Vinegar (optional)

Trim the bottoms of the asparagus. Pour enough water to cover the asparagus into a large skillet. Bring the water to simmering and add the asparagus. Blanch for several minutes, until they are bright green but not quite tender. Remove the asparagus and plunge them into a bowl of ice water. (This will help them keep their bright color and stop the cooking process.)

Cut each piece of pancetta lengthwise into two strips. Wrap one strip around each asparagus in a spiral pattern.

Prepare grill to medium heat. Brush grill rack with olive oil, as well as the asparagus spears. Grill until the pancetta is nice and crispy, and the asparagus are tender. Remove from grill and sprinkle with a little of the balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. (Remember, the pancetta is salty, so don’t go heavy on the extra salt.)

As for the grilled lamb....Yummmm
I'm posting this picture just because the grill worked overtime yesterday: Beef, ham, and lamb, all happy together on the same plate!

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