We are big asparagus fans! It's one of our favorite vegetables. We love using asparagus in a variety of dishes, as well as creating yummy sides to pair with steak, chicken or pork. This recipe for Parmesan Herb Asparagus with Prosciutto and Pine Nuts is the perfect addition to any meal!
How to Cook Asparagus
Our go-to way to cook asparagus is a combination of steaming and roasting and results in perfectly cooked and flavorful asparagus every time! This involves wrapping the asparagus in foil with aromatics and/or seasonings and roasting in the oven. Wrapping the asparagus with foil in this way allows them to steam to perfection inside and soak up the butter, herbs, and juices. The oven should be set to 375° and the asparagus will cook for 10-15 minutes total depending on the size of your asparagus.
Making the Parmesan Herb Asparagus with Prosciutto and Pine Nuts
For this recipe, we chose some of our favorite ingredients to give these the ultimate flavor and texture. This is achieved by combining chopped shallots, lightly cooked prosciutto, lemon juice, cracked black pepper and Veggie Season's Parmesan Herb seasoning.
Once you have the basic cooking method down, the herbs and spices can be anything you want. We have tried many variations of this recipe and we change the flavors depending on the protein we are pairing it with. So feel free to experiment with different ingredients.
Can I omit the shallots if I don't like onions?
Adding chopped shallots gives the asparagus that delicate and slightly sweet onion flavor that isn't as intense as a normal onion.
If you aren't an onion fan, don't worry! Once the shallots cook, they lose all their bite and end up tasting sweet. We have served this to many onion haters and they don't blink an eye once they taste it! We highly recommend trying it with the shallots first before omitting this ingredient completely.
Prosciutto vs Bacon
We almost always use prosciutto in this recipe. The prosciutto adds flavor to the dish. Prosciutto is a type of Italian uncured and uncooked ham, and is typically served raw and thinly sliced, whereas typical bacon found in the USA is cured and smoked pork belly. They are dramatically different.
For this dish, we typically buy prosciutto in the deli section, which is available in most grocery stores. It greatly differs from bacon in its flavor and texture. Bacon is saltier and often smokey, whereas prosciutto is much less smokey and has more of a ham flavor.
If you can't find prosciutto, we would recommend using a different style of thinly sliced European-style of ham such as Serrano or Iberico, or Italian-style unsmoked bacon (pancetta). If you do use bacon, make sure it is lean and we recommend that you simmer it in water for about 3-4 minutes. This will remove most of the saltiness and some smokiness.
We cook the prosciutto in a frying pan briefly - 10 seconds per side - prior to adding it to the asparagus foil pouch. This gives it a bit more texture and brings out its flavor. This also makes the prosciutto easier to cut into strips since the raw thin prosciutto can be hard to manage.
What seasonings can I use?
For this recipe, we highly recommend Veggie Season's Parmesan Herb seasoning blend. The combination of the parmesan and herbs allows you to add a ton of flavor by using just one seasoning rather than trying to recreate this flavor with the various herbs and cheese. Veggie Season's has a lineup of 6 flavors including Parmesan Herb, Roasted Garlic Butter, Sharp Cheddar, Spicy Herb, Red Pepper Cajun and Farmhouse Ranch. We have tried several of them on this asparagus dish, and you really can't go wrong with their blends!
Find all of Veggie Season's flavors HERE and use the promocode COOKINGWITHWINE40 for 40% off orders over $15. And check out some of our other recipes with Veggie Season's blends below:
- Homemade Garlic Fries and Lemony Herb Garlic Aioli
- Farmhouse Ranch Smashed Potatoes
- Spicy Cajun Roasted Cauliflower
Don't forget the toppings!
Once the asparagus are cooked, you want to remove all the contents including the juices to a serving bowl. The lemon and butter meld with the contents of the foil pouch to create a sauce that you won't want to miss! You can eat the asparagus just as they are at this point if you want. However, adding a bit more texture at the end with the toasted pine nuts and buttered toasted bread crumbs elevates this side dish to another level.
Toasting the pine nuts is easy and slightly changes the flavor of the pine nuts to something nuttier and more brilliant. And the toasted bread crumbs adds a touch of a crunch to each bite.
We hope you enjoy this recipe for Parmesan Herb Asparagus with Prosciutto and Pine Nuts! If you give it a try, leave us a comment below, or post your photos on Instagram and tag us @cooking_with_wine!
If you like this recipe, check out some of our other popular recipes below:
- Spicy Cajun Roasted Cauliflower
- Parmesan Peppercorn Mashed Potatoes
- Homemade Garlic Fries
- Spicy Grilled Watermelon Salad
- Crunchy Chicken with White Wine Lemon Butter Sauce
- Spicy Ginger Garlic Shrimp Skewers
Parmesan Herb Asparagus with Prosciutto and Pine Nuts
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 4 slices prosciutto
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 small shallot, chopped
- juice of half a lemon
- 1-2 tablespoon Veggie Season's Parmesan Herb seasoning (or fresh grated Parmesan cheese)
- ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 2 tablespoon pine nuts
- 2 tablespoon toasted breadcrumbs
- Preheat oven to 375° F. Clean asparagus and snap or cut off bottom 2 inches of the stem. Set aside.
- In a dry skillet over medium heat, add prosciutto and lightly brown (approximately 10-15 seconds per side). Remove and cut into strips. Set aside.
- Lay a long sheet of foil on a flat surface. You want to make sure the foil sheet is long enough to fold over and fold in the edges to create on envelope for the asparagus and contents to cook in. Place the asparagus on one half of the foil sheet about 3 inches from the short end. The asparagus can be stacked on top of each other if needed.
- Sprinkle the chopped shallots and prosciutto over the asparagus, then lay the two tablespoon of butter on top. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over everything, then sprinkle the Veggie Season's Parmesan Herb seasoning (or fresh grated Parmesan) followed by the cracked pepper.
- Fold the foil over the contents and align the two short edges. You can now fold the foil in from each side until the contents are completely sealed in the pouch like in an envelope.
- Place on a baking tray in case the package leaks, and into the oven. Cook for 10-15 minutes depending on the size of your asparagus (less time for very skinny asparagus and more time for very thick stems). For normal size asparagus with stems the size of your pinkie finger, we cook for 12 minutes.
- While asparagus cooks, toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet for about 5 minutes on medium heat until they begin to brown and smell nutty. Remove and set aside, then make your buttered toasted breadcrumbs (click on link in ingredients section for recipe).
- Once asparagus are done, carefully open the pouch to remove the asparagus as the steam will release once opened. Add to a serving dish with all the juices within the pouch. Top with pine nuts and toasted breadcrumbs and serve.