Here is a true celebration of the asparagus season. It would be good followed by a main course of salmon, lamb, or roast chicken.
- 1-1/2 lb. asparagus, tough ends removed
- 2 to 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 slices firm white bread, crusts trimmed
- 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tsp. grated lemon zest
- salt and pepper to taste
- 6 thin slices of good quality prosciutto
Place the asparagus in one layer in a large non-stick skillet and drizzle with 1 Tbs. olive oil. Shake pan to coat the asparagus with oil and place over moderate heat. Cook asparagus, shaking pan every few minutes to brown evenly. Lower heat and cook asparagus until tender, around 8 to 10 minutes depending on the thickness. When tender when pierced with a knife, remove to a tea towel to cool.
Grind the bread in a food processor to fine crumbs. Spread on a baking sheet and place in a 325 degrees oven for 15 minutes, until lightly golden. Transfer crumb mixture to a bowl. Add parsley, lemon zest and olive oil, with salt and pepper to taste.
Spread 6 plates each with a slice of prosciutto, arrange the cooked asparagus on top, and sprinkle with the toasted lemon breadcrumbs. Drizzle on 1 to 2 Tbs. olive oil and serve.