Downton Dish: Filo-Wrapped Asparagus

Things are heating up a bit for a few characters (in both good and bad ways), so it’s not hugely surprising that one of Ivy’s tasks this week is to make a classic aphrodisiac: asparagus.

Nobody’s really sure if asparagus enhances the libido. It’s status as an aphrodisiac goes back to the Doctrine of Signatures, an ancient theory that holds that plants and herbs which look like a part of the body will enhance or heal the functions of that part. Not too many people believe in the Doctrine of Signatures anymore, but there are plenty who hold that asparagus is best shared with a lover. And really, when it comes to aphrodisiacs, a lot of the power lies in belief and suggestion, right? So whip some of these together, share ‘em with your honey, and enjoy tonight’s (significantly less scarring) episode.

Asparagus Wrapped in Filo Pastry


1 bundle asparagus

2 sheets filo pastry

25g butter, melted

1/4-1/3 cup parmesan


Preheat the oven to 190C and line a tray with greaseproof paper.

Trim the tough ends off the asparagus; then cook the asparagus in boiling water for 1-2 minutes. Drain and immediately plunge the asparagus into cold water. Drain again and dry thoroughly.

Unroll a filo sheet longways across the worktop, cut into four equal strips, and brush with melted butter. Place each asparagus spear along the bottom of your filo piece and roll snugly but not over tightly. Picking it up with your fingers, brush the outside with butter again, then scatter the grated parmesan thoroughly over the top of each cigar.
Lay them down on the tray with the outside edge of the filo facing down on the paper—this stops them unravelling when they cook. Once all the asparagus are in place, season with salt and pepper.

Cook in the oven for 15-18 minutes until deep golden and crispy.

Recipe from British Asparagus.

Image: Home Cooking in Montana

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