Asparagus & Country Ham Bundles with Toasted Pecan and Citrus Vinaigrette


Serves 4


For the citrus vinaigrette:

  • 1 medium lemon, juiced, and zest cut into fine julienne
  • 3 medium oranges, juiced (1⁄2 cup), and zest of 1 cut into fine julienne
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons unrefined peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

For the asparagus and ham bundles:

  • 1⁄4 cup pecan pieces
  • 1 pound large asparagus spears (about 16), trimmed and peeled
  • 1⁄2 pound thinly sliced pasture-raised country ham (about 16 slices)
  • 1⁄2 pound goat cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup)
  • 1⁄4 cup fresh tarragon leaves, roughly chopped


Make the vinaigrette:

  1. Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil; add the lemon zest, cook for 30 seconds, and drain and set aside to cool. Put the orange juice, orange zest, and sugar in a small saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until reduced by two-thirds (you’ll have about 3 tablespoons), about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, mustard, and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk in the oil, then the reduced orange juice and zest. Just before serving, stir in the lemon zest and parsley.

Prepare the asparagus and ham bundles:

  1. In a medium skillet over medium heat, toast the pecans for about 3 minutes until fragment. Set aside. Bring a large skillet of salted water to a boil and have ready a large bowl of ice water. Cook the asparagus for 2 minutes, then transfer to the ice water bath to stop the cooking. Drain and pat dry the asparagus. Wrap each asparagus spear in one slice of ham. Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat and cook the ham wrapped asparagus on all sides, about a minute total, until crisp.
  2. To serve, place 4 asparagus and ham bundles on each plate with a bit of crumbled cheese and toasted pecans sprinkled over the top. Dress lightly with the vinaigrette and scatter the tarragon leaves over the top.

Recipe reprinted from Harvest to Heat, published by The Taunton Press in 2010. Reprinted with permission.