Summer makes me forget that I have a blog. Don’t get me wrong, the eating doesn’t stop but somehow the blogging part goes by the wayside. Since starting this blog in May, I have never been more disinterested in baking and blogging than today. As I lay in my bed looking up at the golden beams of sunlight streaming through my window, my thoughts turn to how I could possibly rid myself of the responsibilities of work and squander away the day at the beach. It seems that summer also makes me forget that I have a job.
With only 2 more days until I go on annual leave and 6 more sleeps until Christmas, the imminence of the holiday season makes me grow even more eager with anticipation. If you haven't already noticed I love just love summer. And perhaps it’s the romantic, heady wistfulness I get whenever summer comes around, but whatever that feeling is, I am addicted to it. Summer is when you can throw all caution to the wind and forget about everything else, caring only about the things that really matter.
While most of you in the northern half of the world will be making snow angels and snow men, eating turkeys and egg nog while sitting in front of a crackling fire; we folks below the equator will be busying ourselves with sand angels and sand castles, while munching on prawns in the heat of the summer sun. Yes, that’s what an Australian Christmas looks like. And although I have always been romanced by thoughts of a white Christmas- a whim agitated by all those Hollywood movies, I am still a sucker for a warm Christmas.
And even though the warm weather has somewhat dried up my motivation for blogging, these gorgeous asparagus cigars are making me fall in love with summer all the more. Other than berries, asparagus are probably summer’s other bounty that I am most passionate about. There is just something about these spears that scream “summer’s here!”
These cigars are so simple to make and are the perfect appetisers when entertaining. They come out of the oven golden brown and crispy; after cooling them for a couple of minutes they are ready to serve. I filled my cigars with some Grano Padano, however you can fill them with whatever cheese you want.
Asparagus and Parmesan Cigars
2 dozen bunches of green or white asparagus
24 sheets spring roll wrapper or filo pastry
½ cup Parmesan or Grana Padano cheese, finely grated
small cup of water
Preheat oven to 210°C.
Take asparagus and snap off the bottom quarter by simply bending the stalks until they snap or by taking a knife and chopping the last segment from the base.
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and blanch asparagus for 1-2 minutes.
Drain asparagus and run under cold water. Set aside.
Take a sheet of spring roll wrapper and sprinkle some cheese, salt and pepper.
Place a stalk of asparagus at one corner of the wrapper and begin to roll the wrapper tightly around the asparagus, seal the end corner by dipping your finger into the cup of water and dampening the corner before closing the cigars.
Repeat process for the remaining asparagus and then lay them on a baking tray, drizzle generously with olive oil and bake for 10-25 minutes or until the cigars are golden brown in colour.
Remove from tray and place on a serving dish to cool.