This recipe just taste like spring!
It is to be made and remade when it’s asparagus season or when you want a meal full of freshness.
The crispness of the Speck ham blends beautifully with the creaminess of the Asiago cheese, resulting in an interesting and tasty mix of textures!
What is speck?
It is a raw ham of Italian origin.
Its full name is Speck Alto Adige PGI, because it has a protected geographical indication.
Therefore, it can only be produced in a given area, namely Alto Adige, a region located in the northeast of Italy where the Dolomites mountain range is found.
It could be compared to prosciutto in terms of texture and because it is a raw ham. On the other hand, the speck’s flavor is more pronounced with notes of smoke and spices.
It owes its particular flavor to its seasoning based on salt, pepper, juniper and bay leaf. A light smoking process and the mountain air complete the picture.
What to substitute for the speck in this recipe?
If you don’t have speck, you can replace it with prosciutto, Parma ham or Serrano ham.
What is Asiago cheese?
Asiago PDO is a cheese made from the milk of cows that graze in the provinces surrounding the Asiago plateau in Italy.
Even today, it is still made according to traditional methods. There are two varieties:
- Asiago fresco which has an almost creamy texture and has a taste of milk and notes of butter.
- Asiago Stagionato (matured) whose flavors vary according to the length of maturation, which can range from 4 to 15 months.
It is delicious in a salad, on pizza or on a cheese platter.
What to substitute for the Asiago cheese in this recipe?
You could always use Romano or Parmesan cheese in this recipe if you don’t have Asiago cheese.
Asparagus, asiago and speck salad recipe
A fresh asparagus salad, where the crispness of the Speck blends perfectly with the creaminess of the Asiago cheese.
- 20 medium asparagus spears
- 200 g fresh Asiago PDO, without rind (7 oz)
- 100 g IGP Alto Adige Speck, without rind (3½ oz.)
- 4 cups mesclun
- 2 tablespoons minced sweet onions or shallots (20 g)
- 5 tsp. extra virgin olive oil (25 mL)
- 4 tsp white balsamic vinegar (20 mL)
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- Cut off and discard any woody asparagus tips.
- Cook tender parts in boiling, lightly salted water for 4 minutes or until tender. Drain, rinse in cold water and dry. Set aside.
- Cut Asiago into 12 mm (½ inch) cubes. Set aside.
- Cut Alto Adige Speck into 6 mm (¼ in) cubes.
- Heat 5 mL (1 tbsp) olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat.
- Add Speck and cook until golden, 3 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Remove from pan, drain on paper towel and cool.
- In a large salad bowl, toss asparagus, cheese, Speck, lettuce and shallots with olive oil.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Toss again with white balsamic vinegar.
Source : Saveurs d’exception européennes