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Asparagus roll-ups

May 18, 2011

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Makes 20

Barbara Rotger’s grandmother, Marion Griswold Doane, lived in Essex, Conn., and entertained a lot. “Grandma’s recipe box is full of appetizers and dips. My grandfather, Charlie, had a large vegetable garden and small farm stand. He would have grown the asparagus that Grandma used in this recipe,’’ says Rotger. Combined with cream cheese and blue cheese, the toasted bread asparagus roll-ups make elegant finger food.

Salt, to taste
20 asparagus spears, trimmed to 5 inches
1/3 cup (1 1/2 ounces) crumbled blue cheese
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
10 slices white sandwich bread
1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) butter

1. Set oven to 400 degrees. Have on hand a rimmed baking sheet.

2. Bring a saucepan filled halfway with salted water to a boil. Drop in the asparagus spears. Cook for 3 minutes. Drain the asparagus into the colander and rinse with cold water. Lay on paper towels.

3. In a small mixing bowl, mash together the blue cheese and cream cheese until thoroughly combined.

4. Cut the crusts from the bread (freeze them for another recipe). Set one slice of bread on a cutting board. With a rolling pin, flatten the bread. Repeat with remaining slices. Spread about 1 tablespoon of the cheese mixture over the entire surface of one piece of bread. Turn the bread on a diagonal, a pointed end facing you. On the third of the bread closest to you, lay two spears next to each other, tips pointing out in opposite directions. Fold the point of the bread closest to you over the spears and roll up. Repeat with remaining asparagus and bread. Set the rolls on the baking sheet, seam sides up.

5. In a saucepan, melt the butter. With a pastry brush, brush the rolls with butter. Turn them over, so seam sides are down. Brush again.

6. Bake the rolls for 10 minutes. With tongs, turn the rolls. Bake for 2 minutes more or until the rolls are golden.

7. Cool for 1 minute. Cut in half on the diagonal.

Barbara Rotger. Adapted from Marion Griswold Doane