The Air Fryer makes perfect tender crisp asparagus! Just 2 ingredients make an appetizer worthy of company or a delicious side to a meal.
I was making Oven Roasted asparagus, tossed in olive oil and sprinkled with coarse sea salt, and I had a large quantity so I decided to keep some back and make Italian inspired asparagus wrapped in prosciutto the next day.
Isn't this amazing? Just 2 ingredients for this flavourful, cripsy appetizer or side dish.
Many recipes suggest other ingredients. You don't need salt; the prosciutto will be plenty salty when you are done. Parmesan? Don't really need it. A dipping sauce or a squeez of lemon is an option if you are serving as a stand alone appetizer but they are not necessary!
Fresh asparagus works best here. Medium to thick stalks work best because they have enough 'substance' to serve as a base for the prosciutto wrap. If your stalks on the thin side, say thin like the size of a pencil the risk is that the thin stalks will overcook before the prosciutto gets crispy. In that case then bundle two or three spears to wrap together.
Prosciutto is dry cured ham from Italy, usually sold very thinly sliced in 400-800 gram packages. There will be thin plastic liners between each slice. It is less than paper thin and prone to tearing so handle gently. There will also be a tendency to tear apart along the natural fat vein. Prosciutto is also quite 'stretchy' so you are going to cut it in half horizontally. That should more than give your good wrap coverage for the average spear. See the photo below where tip and cut end of the spear are exposed.
What to Serve with Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus?
- I made these asparagus prosciutto wraps to complement the Air Fryer Rotisserie Chicken with Parmesan that I had made. And it was a good match!
- A dipping sauce like this Garlic Dipping Sauce or Curry Mustard Sauce would be good if you are serving these as a stand alone appetizer. (If your gathering is really casual you guests can eat the spears with their fingers once they are cool to the touch! Napkins will be required...)
- Serve them as a side to other Italian mains like Chicken Saltimbocca with Lemon Sauce or Chicken Piccata. Voila! You have the makings of a main course.
How Long To Air Fry Aspargus?
Cooking times for air fried asparagus always assume the spears are laid out in a single layer, not over crowded. Over crowding will make it difficult for the prosciutto to crisp up if the air doesn't flow freely around each spear. I cooked medium-wide asparagus spears wrapped in prosciutto on the Air Fry setting (400 degrees) for 10 minutes. I switched the trays at the half way mark and turned the spears over.
Use this time and temperature as guidelines because time will vary based on the strength of you air fryer and the size of you asparagus. Ex. thinner spears may only take 8 minutes.
If you have more asparagus than fits in your basket or trays in a single layer you will have to work in batches. Cook each batch according to the instructions. You can either keep your spears warm in a 250 degree regular oven, or you can load you batches back in to your air fryer (not in a single layer this time) for about 5 minutes on reheat. Again...this is a guideline based on how much asparagus you have and how powerful your machine is. Adjust as you see fit.
If you are interested in more Air Fryer asparagus recipes you might like these Air Fryer Asparagus Fries With Garlicky Dip.
Wine Pairing for Air Fryer Asparagus With Prosciutto
Asparagus can be tricky to pair. I always default to a Sauvignon Blanc because it often has a grassy profile that complements the taste of asparagus. If you are using the asparagus with prosciutto as a starter then a somewhat reserved Sancerre or Touraine or Fumé Blanc are a good choice.
A dry savoury, rosé, think Provence style would also work here.
Red Wine: A medium bodied fruity Barbera would also work. The prosciutto provides enough proteins that a more tannic red like a Rosso de Montepulciano, a Rioja or a Bordeaux could also work.
If you are serving it as a side dish look to your main dish and sauce for inspiration. If a savoury Sauvignon Blanc or other crisp white is in order go with it!
Air Fryer Asparagus With Prosciutto
- air fryer
- 1 lb asparagus spears Medium to thick spears work best. See Note 1 for thin spears.
- 8 prosciutto slices Cut in half horizontally (more as needed depending on the number of spears you have)
- Clean asparagus spears well to remove any sand from tips. Hold the spear end with one hand and the end of the stalk with the other bend the stalk. It will break naturally where the stalk goes from tender to woody. Check that no stalks exceed the length of your tray.
- Wrap a half slice of prosciutto tightly around the asparagus stalk. See Note 1 if your stalks are very thin. Make Ahead: You can store the wrapped asparagus covered up to 24 hours before cooking.
- Arrange asparagus spears in a single layer over 2 trays. If you have more spears than fit on the 2 trays you will need to work in batches.
- Follow instructions for your air fryer regarding preheating or not. Air Fry at 400° for 8-10 minutes. At the halfway mark switch the trays from top to bottom and turn the spears over.
- At the end of 8 minutes check for overall doneness. Add extra time if needed.
- If you are working in batches you can keep spears warm as you go on a baking sheet at 250℉ in your regular oven or when all your batches are cooked you can pile all your spears on a tray and give the whole bunch 3-5 minutes on reheat function.
- These are best eaten immediately after preparing. If you are serving as a stand alone appetizer you may choose to serve the air fried spears with your favourite dip.Leftovers will keep a day in the fridge. Reheat in air fryer for about 5 minutes. Note the asparagus spears in your leftovers will be less crisp.
Asparagus will keep for about a week in the fridge. If you are going to use it within a couple of days just keep it well wrapped in a plastic bag. For longer storage, trim the woody ends right away and stand your asparagus up in a couple of inches of water in a large glass or container. Keep container in the fridge.
Short answer is no - if you have cleaned your asaparagus well and snapped off the woody end there is no need to peel the asparagus.
I am not a fan of kust cutting off the white part of the asparagus or cutting off a random inch or 2. You can still be left with some woodiness in the stalk. If you hold each end of the stalk and bend it gently it will snap off where the tenderness turns to woodiness. And you will see quite a variation in the length of the part that snaps off.
Short answer- I say no. I have tried to use them for soups but no amount of simmering and straining and pureeing got rid of the fibrous texture in my experience.
Note: My Air fryer is a Pampered Chef one and I absolutely love it! I have not tried others but based on my research the Pampered Chef with its 2 tray and cube configuration is more versatile than others. You can actually do a 2-3 lb rotisserie chicken in it! it toasts, roasts, bakes, reheats, dehydrates besides air frying. No folks... this is not a sponsored post - I am just sharing my enthusiasm! If you are in Ontario, Canada region you can check out Pampered Chef products here https://www.pamperedchef.ca/pws/karenlair or contact a Pampered Chef rep at email@example.com. (And no... this is not an affiliate link! I just love my Air Fryer so much I wanted to share how to access it with you!)