Have you tried purple asparagus? It's a challenge to locate but so worth the search!
Tenderer and sweeter than green with a lot more flavor than white, it usually is available at specialty stores such as Whole Foods or Fresh Market and sometimes local farms and produce stands.
You can't really go wrong by tucking away edible treasures into a crescent roll but these are filled with a meaty asparagus spear (with the purple variety even the larger stems are edible) wrapped in a light coating of salty ham, and held together with ooey gooey melted cheese! Serve them as a heavy hoerdouerve or a meal in themselves. You can of course use green asparagus but the purple's so pretty and different and tasty!
I tried 3 different cheeses.
Manchego, which I love but it added too much salt with the ham. A Whelsh cheddar that I decided is better suited to crackers and a glass of wine because it just doesn't melt well and the flavor was not a good match with any of the other components. My favorite was pepper jack. Fantastic meltability and the colorful flakes of pepper lended a pleasant spicy contrast to the rich crescent, earthy vegetable, and salty ham!
When you purchase ham from the deli have them slice it thin but not shaved. It's almost transparent, which makes it easier to wrap and the asparagus kind of shows through. Any thicker and it would be too much salt.
If you use the purple asparagus choose a little bit larger stalk. They're still tender and because the crescent rolls are puffy and somewhat heavy you want a substantial chunk of asparagus. Plus it'll be big enough for the meat to cling to. Use the pretty tip end and roll the crescent so some of the asparagus, ham, and cheese sticks out.
Buttery soft bread, beautiful! Surrounded in cheese, my happy place :) Lightly salted ham and a spring veggie...only thing left to discuss is the wine pairing...
Cava has a very distinct flavor compared to Champagne, I mean the bubbly purchased in most stores not the "real thing". This one is yeasty, earthy, and fruity. A perfect pairing with bread, spring asparagus, and it's sparkling texture cuts through this rich appetizer. Also found it interesting that the salty ham brings out the fruitiness in the Cava. Now this meal or first course is complete:)
1 can crescent rolls
8 asparagus spears, cut into a 4 inch piece, steamed for 2 minutes, then dropped in ice water
8 slices of ham, sliced very thin (I cut the pretty half of each slice of ham not the fatty side, plus it wraps better)
8 - 2 inch pieces of cheese (less than 1/4 inch thick so it melts well)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread crescent rolls out and separate into 8 triangles. Wrap each asparagus spear in a slice of ham. Place each one in the middle of a triangle and lay a piece of cheese down beside the asparagus and roll it all up. Bake for approximately 11 to 13 minutes or until golden brown.
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