This recipe appears in:In Season: Asparagus
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 16 small spears (about 1 pound) fresh green asparagus, rinsed and tough ends trimmed
- 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Swiss Gruyère cheese
- 16 thin slices best-quality smoked ham (about 10 ounces)
In a skillet large enough to hold the asparagus in a single layer, combine the oil, asparagus, and salt. Sprinkle with several tablespoons of cold water. Cover. Cook over high heat just until the oil and water mixture begins to sizzle. Reduce the heat to medium and braise the asparagus, turning from time to time, just until the vegetable begins to brown in spots, 8 to 10 minutes.
Place the cheese on a large plate. Roll the asparagus in the cheese. Wrap each asparagus spear in a slice of ham and secure with a toothpick.
Return the asparagus to the skillet and cook until the ham is crispy and brown, turning the asparagus with tongs, about 2 minutes. Serve immediately.