Grilled Asparagus Involtini with Lardo

TOTAL TIME: 20 min
Prep: 10 min
Inactive Prep: --
Cook: 10 min
 
YIELD: 6 servings
LEVEL: Easy

ingredients

CAPER VINAIGRETTE:
  • 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped capers
    ASPARAGUS:
    • 1 bunch (about 24 spears) medium asparagus, woody bottom ends removed
    • 24 thin slices Lardo di Colonata (get extras as they could tear)
    • 4 tablespoons olive oil
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
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    Directions

    For the vinaigrette: Add the vinegar and capers to a small bowl. Whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

    For the asparagus: Heat the grill to medium-high.

    Carefully wrap 2 asparagus at a time with 1 or 2 pieces of lardo, overlapping as you go. (If your lardo is cut paper-thin, then 2 will be easier to work with. If thicker, then one should be sufficient.)

    Lay the asparagus cross-wise across the grill to keep it from falling through the grates. Grill, turning occasionally, until just tender and charred and the lardo has rendered and started to become crispy, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the grill and set aside. Drizzle with vinaigrette before serving.

    Notes

    Cook's Notes: It may look like the lardo is melting off of the asparagus as you cook it...be patient! It will eventually crisp up and stay put. You may want to make extras - because these will go fast!

    For advanced preparation, make this vinaigrette in a jar with a lid. Add all of the ingredients and give it a shake!

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    5

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    • on December 27, 2012

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      I couldn't get the lardo, so I used thinly sliced pancetta, instead; but that was the only substitution I made. These bundles of green glory were utterly fabulous, I must say. The asparagus I grilled inside, on a cast iron grill pan, on the stove, & I drizzled with the lovely caper vinaigrette right off the grill. I did try a bit of the first bundle, sans vinaigrette, for comparison's sake; you must use the vin. Trust me. The bundles will still be tasty, but that vin adds a whole new layer of earthy complexity to each bite, & it's so worth the extra effort to make the vinaigrette. If you have people that cringe at the idea of capers, don't tell then what's in it; just tell then it's oil & vinegar. They'll thank you, later.

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