Cooking has always been cathartic for me. When I’m stressed, sad, bummed, or frustrated, cooking is my outlet to relieve that tension. It’s nice to tune out the world and focus on creating something…and nothing in the kitchen allows me to zone more than preparing appetizers. Why appetizers? Well because although they’re easy to make, they require a methodical assembly-line type of cooking.
So…since I’ve been feeling down this week, I decided to raid the fridge to see what we had. My dad had just picked up some amazing looking asparagus (yay for spring veggies!) and I had leftover goat cheese from another recipe, so I grabbed the two and started to cook!
This recipe is for phyllo wrapped asparagus bundles with goat cheese tucked inside. They are so simple to make, but require some patience to assemble. The little packages are baked until lightly golden…they get crispy and cheesy and tender and oh-so-very-nice. While in the oven, definitely make an easy balsamic reduction to drizzle over the asparagus. All you do is simmer balsamic vinegar until it gets sticky and thick. That’s it. Told you it was easy! The deep balsamic flavors pair amazingly with the warm goat cheese, flaky phyllo, and tasty asparagus. They’re really great.
**Below are the directions to make 1 bundle… I’d write the recipe for everything, but I have no idea how many asparagus stalks were in the bundle haha. Since every bundle is made exactly the same, just increase the recipe until all your asparagus is used up. The asparagus that I used was pencil thin, but if you find larger asparagus, maybe just use 1 or 2 stalks in each bundle. **
For one bundle:
3 stalks of asparagus
½ – 1 tablespoon goat cheese
1 sheet phyllo dough
Garlic powder (to taste)
Salt/pepper (to taste)
Nonstick oil spray (butter or oil flavored)
Cut the woody ends off of your asparagus and discard.
Take 1 sheet of phyllo dough and spray lightly with the oil spray. Fold in half horizontally. Spray with oil spray. Sprinkle with salt/pepper and garlic powder.
Put 3 stalks of asparagus at one end of the phyllo sheet (the tops stick out).
Spread/drop the goat cheese over the asparagus.
Roll the asparagus/goat cheese up with the phyllo.
Place on a baking sheet. Spray with oil spray and then sprinkle with additional salt/pepper/garlic powder.
Cover with plastic wrap and then repeat for the rest of your asparagus.
Bake in an oven preheated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes, or until the phyllo is lightly golden and asparagus cooked through.
Drizzle with the balsamic reduction.
Take ½ cup balsamic vinegar and put in a small sauce pan over LOW heat. Simmer for 15-20 minutes (basically the entire time the bundles are in the oven).