Friday, January 8, 2010

More on the BBQ side - asparagus prosciutto and olive salsa

Fact:   Summer = barbeques + flies + long cool drinks. 
Fact:   Barbeques = meat overload
Fact:   Meat overload = opp(Sides + sides + sides)

Don't get me wrong, I love a summer BBQ.  But sometimes, you need something a bit different to counteract all that meatiness.  Like seafood, or some interesting side dishes to serve with your steak. And no, I don't mean boring salads.

Here are two sides that complement roast lamb particularly well.  The olive salsa is great on barbequed meat, like lamb.  The asparagus with prosciutto can be thrown on the barbeque to cook while the meat is resting.

Olive Salsa
makes about 1 cup

1 cup (120g) pitted green or black olives (or a combination of the two), finely diced
1 tblsp olive oil
1 tblsp mint, chopped
1 tblsp parsley, chopped
1 tblsp red onion, finely chopped
2 anchovies, chopped
1 tblsp minced garlic

1.  To ensure that the olives and herbs are finely chopped, you can put them into a food processor and whizz for a couple of seconds
2.  Then combine all ingredients in a bowl and cover and refrigerate until needed.
3.  Serve on sliced barbequed lamb

Asparagus with prosciutto
serves 3-4

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed (ie. ends cut off and peeled if necessary)
4 slices prosciutto

1.  Cut the prosciutto into 2 or 3 pieces, crosswise
2.  Wrap a piece of prosciutto around a stalk of asparagus
3.  Cook on a barbeque over medium heat for 5  minutes, until the prosciutto is crisp and the asparagus is cooked
4.  Can be served immediately or is great served cold the next day.

Thanks to Nathan for this recipe idea!

Wrap prosciutto pieces around asparagus stalks before barbequeing

Serve olive salsa on the barbequed lamb with the asparagus and prosciutto


  1. Mmm I had asparagus wrapped with proscuitto as a starter at a Christmas lunch recently and I loved it! So simple and delicious :)

  2. The asparagus looks fantastic. BBQ's can be meatfests. I usually make/bring a warm pumpkin salad with toasted almonds and mixed leaves.

  3. Looks like you have the formula for BBQs all worked out.

    lol! I like how, even with all the talk of meat overload, the asparagus couldn't escape the clutches of its meaty collar :)

  4. I tell you Belle - your pics are looking more and more like they come from a magazine... did you get a new camera!?! Thanks for sharing the recipes - I must try the asparagus!

  5. Nice sides! I love asparagus, and it would be nice and quick to cook.

  6. Asparagus is a great side to any dish. I can eat them till the cows come home. So yummy.

  7. I sometimes find the salads can be more interesting than the bbq meats, coz they're just charred meats - so much more variation with the salads =)

  8. I love asparagus with prosciutto! Never had it at a barbie though, good thinking 99!

    I like the chunkiness of the olive salsa, when compared with a tapenade. I like chunks.

  9. oh belle your food is so summertume type that I long to have some !!!!
    snow and cold here in Paris brrrrr !

  10. I love olives and the olive salsa sounds really good Belle! And asparagus with prosciutto - can't go wrong with that!

  11. Oh! Such a delicious looking way to cook asparagus. Wrapping it in meat will be a sure fire way to get my partner to eat more veggies!

  12. hi Stephcookie - it's a great combo of flavours, isn't it? I will definitely make it again.

    hi Helen - pumpkin salad is more like it! I can imagine it would go really well with meat - especially with almonds, yum.

    hi Simon - you are so poetic, 'meaty collar', indeed!. But yes, it's ironic, isn't it...

    hi Trissa - oh, thanks, that's such a complement coming from such a great photographer (and cook) like you!

    hi Arwen - I was surprised at how quickly the asparagus cooked on the hot bbq - and you don't need to turn it or anything.

    hi A cupcake or two - I think there's something elegant about asparagus - their shape, for example. It doesn't hurt that they taste good, too!

    hi mlle delicieuse - I prefer a good sausage or seafood to a lump of meat, but yes, you definitely have to have something 'green' at a bbq.

    hi Conor - you know, I can't stand tapenade - reminds me of ugly Vegemite. The chunkiness of the salsa makes it look good, too.

    hi Pierre - oh, we feel your pain! Though I'm sure there are other winter delights in Paris that we would enjoy!

    hi Trisha - do you prefer green or black olives? I find that a combination of both gives you the intensity of the black with the freshness of green.

    hi Megan - I have the same problem! Though I suppose some greens (with a little meat) is better than no greens at all.

  13. Gorgeous sides Belle! I always get a bit stuck for BBQ side ideas! :D