Monday, March 8, 2010

Greek Grass - Asparagus in Filo

Asparagus has been around for a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG time. I'm not just talking the Romans, or even the Hellenic Greeks. It has been gracing our plates since the time of the ancient Egyptians. Yes, it's true, humans have been consuming the immature shoots, known as "Asparagus spears", since the first Mastabas were being constructed.

Contrary to popular belief, though it seem quite paradoxical, the thinner the asparagus spear, the woodier and more stringy it will be. Always reach for plump, non-wrinkled, spears with a tightly closed cap. My personal preference for cooking asparagus is to do it quick and leave it with a lot of crunch, cause mushy asparagus just ain't right. LOL

This quick cooking also tends to preserve more of the nutrient value of this wonder vegetable. High in Folicin, B6, Potassium and Rutin to strengthen your capillary walls. On top of all this it's low in calories, high in fiber, low in sodium and contains no fat or cholesterol. Well, that is until you add butter or Hollandaise to it... :) And though asparagus has a tendency to make... Um... "liquid eliminations" a little on the odoriferous side, only 22 % of the population have the ability to "smell" it. So eat up America!!

In all honestly I have no idea if Greeks eat their asparagus like this, but when I have filo available I like to do it this way. Sort of a hand held vegetable pocket. Simple, yet elegant and great for texture. The recipe is simple, you need 2 sheets of filo for each "roll-up" that you make, you also need about 1/2 TB of butter to brush the dough with. The amount of asparagus you use in each roll-up is entirely up to you, I have used as little as 3 spears and as many as 5. Tonight, I chose 4 cause it's right in the middle... The following recipe is for 6 rollups.

Asparagus in Fillo

20 Asparagus spears
6 TB melted Butter
12 Sheets of Filo pastry

Blanch the asparagus in salted, boiling water for 2 minutes, or until it turns bright green.

Immediately plunge the asparagus into ice water to stop the cooking.

Dry the spears on paper towels.

Preheat the oven to 400 and melt the butter.
Cut your filo into a square.

Take 1 sheet and lay it on a flat surface, then brush with butter.

Lay down a second sheet and brush that one with butter as well.
Lay down 4 asparagus spears at one of the points.

Fold the bottom point "up" towards the spears.

Fold the left side over towards the right point.

Fold the right point back towards the left....

and then fold it underneath the bundle.

Brush the whole thing, including the asparagus, with butter and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment.

When all the asparagus has been wrapped, bake for 10 minutes.

Let cool for about 10 minutes....

Serve warm.



Patti T. said...

What a beautiful creation. I would never have thought of doing this.

The Dutch Baker's Daughter said...

Asparagus shouts Spring to me...and what a beautiful presentation!

Spryte said...

Yum!!! Beautiful little packages!

Dajana said...

Beautifully wrapped up babies!
I love anything with fillo, and I love asparagus, too. Oh, and my husband is one of those who can "smell" it...

Bob said...

What a great way to have asparagus. Even if it does make certain emissions less... pleasant. Heh.

Danielle said...

what a pretty way to serve asparagus. And you gotta love the simplicity of it. I've heard about that asparagus odor "thing"...but i guess Im not one of the 22% LOL. Now coffee on the other hand.....

tasteofbeirut said...

Very prim and proper way to eat asparagus! I could picture this at a ladies' luncheon. Yum.