I love the spring. It’s not only because of the beautiful weather and the blossoming trees. I also love the seasonal fruits and vegetables of spring including asparagus, spinach, rhubarb and strawberries, among others. Eating fruits and vegetables that are in season allows you to get the most nutritional value, flavor and freshness out of them at the most affordable price. With Shavuous just around the corner, I like to plan my menu around the freshest produce available on the market. These wrapped asparagus make the perfect appetizer or side dish at your fleishig meal.
Wrapped asparagus is a traditional antipasto which commonly uses non-kosher ingredients. I decided to try wrapping them with turkey and pastrami instead, and the results were pretty and delicious. In searching for ideas, I came across these lovely chive-tied ones, and they turned out to be the perfect finishing touch. The chives not only up-the-ante on the dish, they also help to keep the cold cuts tightly wrapped around the asparagus.
Although the turkey and pastrami add flavor to the asparagus, they are very simply seasoned. To add more flavor, drizzle with some classic aioli, or use my honey mustard dressing below.
Look out for more seasonal recipes to serve at your Yom Tov meal, coming next week!
Turkey & Pastrami Wrapped Asparagus
adapted from a recipe by Ellie Krieger
2 bunches of asparagus
1/4 lb. smoked turkey
1/4 lb. smoked pastrami
extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Break the woody end off each asparagus spear (if you hold one end of the asparagus in each hand and bend it, it will naturally break at the spot where it starts to become woody). Rinse the asparagus (if you’d like) and drain very well. Drizzle with olive oil, using a brush or your hands to coat well. Cut each piece of turkey and pastrami lengthwise into 3-4 strips. Wrap one strip of turkey or pastrami around each asparagus spear, below the tips. Gently tie a chive around the center of the cold cuts to hold them in place. Take care not to tear the chives, and make a knot (by tying twice) to ensure that they don’t open. Snip the ends of the chives with kitchen shears. Place on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Bake for 10-12 minutes (depending on thickness and how tender you like it), turning once.
To serve, plate asparagus alternating between the turkey and pastrami. Drizzle with dressing.
Honey Mustard Dressing
1/2 cup mayonaise
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup dijon mustard
Mix well to combine.
NOTE: It is best to use thicker asparagus for this recipe, as they hold the cold cuts better. Try to find ones that have an even shape so they cook evenly (not ones that get very thick at the bottom). To use thinner spears, just wrap 2-3 spears at a time with the cold cuts, instead of just one.