Prosciutto-Wrapped Jumbo Asparagus with Garlic Aioli and Fried Orange Gremolata

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Asparagus typically plays second fiddle to a main course. But at Uptown Tavern, a jumbo version stands alone.  Sneaking in a show-stealing side takes the pressure off the home chef. Try this recipe before the fall holiday season is upon us.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Jumbo Asparagus with Garlic Aioli and Fried Orange Gremolata
Serves 4 

12 jumbo asparagus spears with an inch of the stem removed

1 T. salt

6 oz. prosciutto di Parma

2 T. olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste


In a large saucepan, heat water to a boil and add a tablespoon of salt. Once your water is boiling, add the cleaned asparagus and prepare an ice bath. Cooking time should be roughly 3-4 minutes, but varies depending on the thickness of the asparagus.

When the asparagus is tender, but not soft, remove it from the boiling water and place it in the ice bath. Remove and pat dry.

On a clean surface, lay out prosciutto with one asparagus stem inside each slice. Roll the prosciutto at an angle with 3/4 of the stems covered with the prosciutto.

Heat a grill to medium-high. Lightly season wrapped asparagus with salt and pepper and brush with oil. Place them seam-side down on the grill and cook on each side 3 minutes. The small fat layer in the middle and top of the prosciutto should melt away and form a seal around the asparagus.

Remove from heat and garnish with garlic aioli and fried orange gremolata.


Garlic Aioli

7 garlic cloves, minced

1 t. kosher salt

5 egg yolks

1 1/4 T. Dijon mustard

1 lemon, zested and juiced

2 1/2 c. garlic oil (or extra-virgin olive oil)

Add all ingredients except oil to a small mixing bowl. Beat with a wire whisk until incorporated. Place a damp towel around the bottom base of the bowl to keep the bowl from moving. With one hand, continue to whisk the first 5 ingredients and with the other hand slowly pour in the oil. If the consistency is too thick, mix in a tablespoon or two of water.

Fried Orange Gremolata

3 c. shortening

1 bunch parsley leaves

5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 pinch salt and pepper

1 orange, zested

Heat shortening in a large saucepan to 350 degrees. While the shortening is melting, line a baking sheet with paper towels.

Once the melted shortening has reached frying temperature, drop in the parsley leaves. With a wire whisk, quickly fish out the parsley leaves and remove them to the paper towels to drain. Repeat this step with the garlic. (The garlic and parsley should only take about 10 seconds each to fry.) The garlic should still be white in the center, with brown edges.

After the parsley and garlic have cooled, toss in a small mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add orange zest and lightly toss again.

Executive Chef Dana Francisco
Uptown Tavern
1236 University Ave., San Diego, CA 92103

Categories: Food & Drink