A couple of nibbles (easy peasy) to serve your guests now that the sun is shining, the sap is rising and we're finally out of our winter lair:
Asparagus with Prosciutto (this recipe is with cooked asparagus -as in first para above-)
4 ounces whipped cream cheese, 1/3 teaspoon finely minced garlic, pinch each of salt and pepper, 12 thin slices of prosciutto, cut crosswise into halves, 24 asparagus spears, cut to 4 inches, cooked to crisp-tender
Combine whipped cream cheese with garlic, salt and pepper.
Spread each half slice of prosciutto with some of the cheese mixture and roll around an asparagus spear. Arrange on a baking sheet.Heat in a preheated 350 degree oven for 3-4 minutes, or until heated through. Serve immediately..24 bundles, 6-8 servings.
Asparagus en croute (the lazy way) ... this recipe calls for cooked asparagus as above
12 slices of good-quality white sandwich bread (Italian, Belgian, etc.), ½ pound Jarlsberg or other Swiss-style cheese, ½ cup Dijon mustard, 12 asparagus spears, cooked till tender-crisp, 4 tablespoons melted butter, approximately
Roll the bread as thin as possible with a rolling pin; trim crusts. You will have pieces of bread about 3-4 inches square.Lay squares out on a work surface and cover them with a damp towel for 10 minutes. Cut the cheese into fingers approximately the size of the asparagus spears. Spread each bread square with mustard. Lay an asparagus spear and a strip of cheese on each bread square and roll up. Place seam side down on a buttered baking sheet.Brush rolls with melted butter. Bake in the upper third of a 450 degree oven for 10 minutes, or until brown and bubbling. Serve immediately.12 rolls, 4-6 servings.