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Asparagus in Parchment: Something Completely Different

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Asparagus in Parchment

Asparagus in Parchment

Copyright 2010 Kevin D Weeks
Asparagus in Parchment? I thought I knew most of the ways to cook asparagus but this surprised me. A friend and colleague of mine, Melissa Clark, wrote about this in the New York Times (full disclosure, About.com is a subsidiary of the New York Times, Co.) so I sent her an email asking for details. "Like butter," was her response with admonition to use really thick spears. The asparagus really sucks up the flavors it's cooked with, which is a wondrous thing. (Larger image.) Serves 2.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: Serves 2.


  • 1/2 lb. thick asparagus*; woody ends broken off
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme (or tarragon, dill, oregano, or marjoram)
  • 2 tsp. excellent olive oil
  • 2 slices prosciutto
  • 2 thin slices lemon
  • Salt


1. Heat oven to 200 degrees F.

2. Tear off an 8-inch wide sheet of parchment paper and cut in half cross- wise to produce 2 8 x 8 sheets.

3. On a plate, brush asparagus with olive oil and lightly salt.

4. Arrange half of spears on each sheet of parchment. Add fresh herb sprigs.

5. Tear each slice of prosciutto into pieces and arrange on asparagus. Then add lemon slices.

6. Wrap parchment long-ways over asparagus and make several folds to seal in a neat bundle.

7. Then fold each end to form a triangle and fold over length-ways. Tie with twine or simply staple (as Melissa did). See image

8. Place packets fold-side up on a baking sheet and cook 40 to 50 minutes.

*My asparagus averaged about 1/2-inch in diameter at the base before removing ends and 40 minutes was about right, thicker asparagus is probably better in general and needs 50 minutes. I wouldn't try this with thinner asparagus - it will just turn to mush.

User Reviews

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 5 out of 5
Scrumptious!, Member foodiesleuth

I remember seeing this sometime ago (can't remember where right now, maybe Nathalie Dupree?) but we tried it and it was absolutely delicious...! Will I make it again? Definitely! Thank you, Kevin for bringing this little recipe back to mind!

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