Grilled Proscuitto-Wrapped Asparagus with Saffron Aïoli

Grilled Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus with Saffron Aïoli?  ‘Nough said.  I can’t remember when or where I first heard about this, but it seems we were making this appetizer every weekend for a while.  I adapted it from a recipe from Gourmet magazine (June 2008) and a Bobby Flay recipe in Bon Appétit (July 2000).

INGREDIENTS

Aioli

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

Large pinch of saffron threads (you can buy saffron relatively inexpensively at Trader Joe’s)

1 cup mayonnaise

2 cloves garlic, minced

salt & pepper to taste

 Asparagus

1 pound medium asparagus

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

12 to 15 slices prosciutto

DIRECTIONS

For aioli:  Whisk vinegar, honey and saffron threads in heavy small saucepan over medium-high heat.  Bring to a boil.  Remove from heat & cool completely.  Mix mayonnaise and garlic in medium bowl to blend.  Mix in cooled vinegar mixture.  Season with salt & pepper.  (Can be made one day ahead.  cover and refrigerate.)

For asparagus:  Prepare a grill (medium-high heat).  Toss asparagus with oil on rimmed baking sheet.  Sprinkle with salt & pepper.  Wrap middle of each asparagus with one slice of prosciutto.  Grill asparagus until crisp-tender and prosciutto is golden brown in spots, turning occasionally, about 5 minutes.  Transfer to platter.

Serve with aioli for dipping.

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