Asparagus wrapped in cheesy filo pastry is an appetiser worthy of a special celebration but easy enough to prepare for casual drinks at home or as a snack. I know you will enjoy the tender asparagus inside the cheesy, crispy filo shell. It’s a great way to enjoy this very seasonal vegetable.
Preheat your oven to 180 Degrees C (350 F)
Remove one sheet of filo pastry and lay it on your work surface.
Ensure that the remainder of the filo is covered with cling wrap and a damp tea towel.*
Brush the filo with a layer of olive oil.
Place another layer on top and repeat with the oil, cheese and pepper until you have 3 layers.
Cut the filo into 5 equal strips and then through the centre so you have 10 rectangles.
Position an asparagus spear on the bottom edge of one of the filo rectangles and roll it up. Brush the tips of the asparagus and the top of the pastry with olive oil and place the rolls on a baking paper lined sheet pan, seam side down.*
Bake until golden brown, approximately 15 minutes.
Serve hot with Balsamic Glaze.
*See advice in the notes above regarding defrosting filo pastry. You need to prepare this a day in advance. Fresh filo pastry can be used immediately.
*Always cover the dough you aren't currently using. It will dry out very quickly, becoming brittle to the touch and impossible to work with.
*The end of the asparagus is almost always woody and tough and needs to be removed. To do this, hold the end of the asparagus with both hands, between your thumb and forefinger, and bend until it breaks. The tough, woody end will automatically break off leaving you with the tender part. Or, as I do, line the asparagus up so the tips are level. You will be able to see how much of the bottom of the spear is woody, usually about 3 ½ cm/1 ½”. Just cut this off.
*Don't worry if the pastry tears. Just brush oil on it and layer on another sheet. If it tears while you are rolling just continue. It will be fine.
*If preparing in advance, place the rolls on a plate and cover well with cling wrap. Refrigerate until ready to bake.
*The number of rolls you make will, of course, depend on the number of spears in your bunch of asparagus. For this recipe, I had 9.