Asian Asparagus Wraps



It's about this time of year that I start getting overly enthusiastic about making delicious nibbles for friends and parties. For my upcoming holiday potluck, I'll be making one of my most requested appetizers--these yummy, crunchy asparagus wraps. They're super easy to make and always, always a hit. This is a recipe from the 2nd edition of my book, Radiant Health, Inner Wealth. Hope you enjoy!!

Photo by Wanda, admin for the Vegan Peace forum.





Asian Asparagus Wraps
What an easy way to impress guests! These crunchy munchies will have people thinking you went all out, when actually they take only about 15 minutes to prepare. The key is to make sure you have very flavorful asparagus spears before wrapping them. In fact, they should taste a bit too flavorful as is, since wrapping them in the phyllo will “dilute” their flavor a bit.

3 large (or 6 small)* sheets phyllo dough, thawed (see page 42 for phyllo tips)

Overly Flavorful Asparagus:

12 thin (or 6 fat) asparagus spears, trimmed (see page 39 for tips)

2 teaspoons toasted (dark) sesame oil

1 tablespoon each: fresh lime juice and tamari, shoyu, or soy sauce

6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

The End (Happily Ever After):

Non-hydrogenated margarine (or toasted sesame oil) for brushing**

2 tablespoons raw sesame seeds (preferably black)

1. Place the asparagus, sesame oil, lime juice, tamari, and garlic in a medium-large skillet. Sauté over medium heat, stirring often, just until the asparagus is bright green and barely tender. You will want them to be slightly underdone, as they will cook a little more in the oven. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Gently remove three large (or six small)* sheets of phyllo and set them aside. Immediately roll up the remaining phyllo dough in plastic. Place in another airtight plastic bag and put it back in the fridge.
3. If you are using three large sheets of phyllo, cut them in half width-wise to make six sheets.
4. Place one sheet of phyllo on a clean dry surface and brush it with margarine or toasted sesame oil (or spray it with oil**). Place two thin asparagus spears (or one fatty) at the bottom of the phyllo sheet, making sure to scrape some of the garlic and flavorings from the pan onto the asparagus. Roll the phyllo up and over the asparagus. Continue rolling up until you have a phyllo “cigar.”
5. Place it on a lightly oiled cookie sheet. Brush the top with more margarine or toasted sesame oil (or spray with oil). Sprinkle with some raw sesame seeds. Repeat this process with the remaining asparagus and phyllo.
6. Bake until golden brown, about 5-10 minutes. Be careful not to over-brown, as phyllo cooks very quickly. Serve immediately.
Makes 6 asparagus wraps; 30 Minutes or Under! SF (if using oil)/Blue (according to the guidelines in Radiant Health, Inner Wealth)

*If your 1 lb. package of phyllo dough contains twenty large sheets of phyllo, you’ll need to use three sheets. However, if your 1 lb. package of phyllo contains forty smaller sheets, you’ll need six sheets.
**You may instead spray the phyllo with oil, as it’s quicker and lower in fat. Of course, the more “buttery” and time consuming approach of brushing the phyllo yields a more intense, rich flavor.

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