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Need a side dish or appetizer for your holiday weekend cookout? This will wow your family and friends’ taste buds.

What’s speck? It’s a cured Italian meat that is smoked over beechwood with herbs and spices, like juniper, rosemary and laurel, then air-dried. Speck is traditionally too fatty to be eaten raw but when cooked it adds amazing flavor to soup and stew. It’s sometimes called Italian bacon. Think of it as a smoky prosciutto.

During the summer grilled asparagus is a staple for me, but I wanted my family to be asparagus lovers too. Following a cooking demo of speck-wrapped figs at Tuscan Kitchen, I figured I’d try a new twist on grilled asparagus. Prosciutto would work well, too, but my family prefers the smokiness of the speck.

We grill these every weekend; sometimes they don’t even make it to the serving platter. They make a great presentation and they’re just amazing. If there are any leftovers, chop them up and add to omelets, risotto, salads, etc.

grilled speck-wrapped asparagusWhat you need:

What you do:

  • Cut speck in half lengthwise.
  • Beginning below spear tip begin wrapping speck around stalk.
  • Squeeze to adhere speck to asparagus.
  • Repeat with remaining stalks.
  • Drizzle with EVOO and season with salt and pepper.
  • Heat grill.
  • Brush or spray grill grate with EVOO.
  • Cook asparagus for about 5 min, turning once.
  • Remove to serving dish and enjoy.