Filo Rolls with Asparagus, Chorizo and Parmesan

filo_asppIn recent years I have been experimenting with green asparagus so often, I have almost forgotten the old monotony of “side-dishy” spears topped with sauce. While white asparagus is more delicate and trickier to both cook and serve, the green or violet thinner variety is one of the most versatile vegetables I know. These cute rolls confirmed once more its huge potential and added one more line to my beloved filo pastry recipes collection. Two reasons to believe that these are bound to become my staple treat throughout spring and summer.

Even though I did intend to combine filo pastry and asparagus, this fabulous idea was unfortunately not mine. In fact, after a quick search I realised that asparagus and filo rolls (often called “asparagus cigars”) are quite popular on the web, but since filo has been quite a recent addition to my cooking products, I noticed them only now. The idea seemed quite simple to copy (though born in the head of a genius!), so instead of following a precise recipe, I decided to make them my way. I added some chorizo and parmesan to spice up the rolls and to make them richer and it was enough to create a light though filling snack or part of a main course. The ingredients paired very well, enhancing the delicate asparagus taste, without hiding it. I have enjoyed them as a full light lunch, with a green salad, but I imagine these rolls very well as a starter or a snack, also fit for a party. In short, a lovely light spring dish.

Here are some other asparagus recipes you might like:

Asparagus with Chicken and Miso

Asparagus with Chicken and Miso

Asparagus Maki Sushi

Asparagus Maki Sushi

Bread Tartlet with Egg and Asparagus

Bread Tartlet with Egg and Asparagus

Asparagus Teriyaki Pork Rolls

Asparagus Teriyaki Pork Rolls

Chawan Mushi (Egg Custard) with Asparagus

Chawan Mushi (Egg Custard) with Asparagus

Asparagus Tempura

Asparagus Tempura

Asparagus with Cashew Nuts and Chicken

Asparagus with Cashew Nuts and Chicken

Tama Konnyaku with Asparagus

Tama Konnyaku with Asparagus

 

Rice, Asparagus and Fried Egg

Rice, Asparagus and Fried Egg

 

TIPS:

I didn’t feel the need to grease my folded sheets before rolling them around the asparagus spears. I brushed the rolls with oil on top only before baking, but if you feel like brushing filo pastry before rolling, feel free to do it.

I made these rolls twice and the second time decided to cut each asparagus spear into three bite-sized pieces in order to make the eating process easier. They look as whole at first sight, but you don’t risk taking out a whole spear while you bite into them or cut them. This is especially important if you treat these rolls as snacks and eat them with your hands.

If you don’t like/have parmesan, you can use any similar cheese of your choice (such as pecorino which by the way I intend to use here next time). You might even use softer melting thinly sliced cheese. There is one thing I’d advise though: since asparagus is far from being a cheap ingredient, I suggest using real, good quality, matured cheese (not a tasteless industrial copy).

Preparation: 15 minutes + 10 – 15 minutes baking

Ingredients (serves two as a light main course, if served with a salad, or three as a starter/snack):

6 filo/phyllo pastry sheets

18 green asparagus spears (about 1 cm diameter at the bottom) or more  

12 paper thin thick chorizo slices

6 heaped tablespoons freshly grated parmesan (I think pecorino or other similar cheese would be fantastic here too)

oil to brush the rolls before baking

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Cut off the toughest parts of asparagus spears (I usually cut lower 1/4-1/3 depending on the spear).

Wash and dry them.

Take one filo pastry sheet, fold it in two lengthwise and place it on the chopping board, the shorter side close to you.

Take two slices of chorizo and place them horizontally on the filo pastry sheet (about 5cm/2 in from the border closer to you).

Take three asparagus spears, cut them into three bite-sized pieces each and place horizontally on the chorizo slices, putting them back into the original form. Make sure the asparagus tops go slightly beyond the pastry.

Grate about one heaped tablespoon of parmesan over the asparagus spears.

Fold the lateral edge of the pastry sheet until it meets the the longest asparagus low end.

Roll the filo pastry tightly but delicately, starting from the edge which is closest to you, remembering to keep one (left or right) side folded, so that asparagus spears don’t fall out when you eat them.

Proceed in the same way with the remaining rolls.

Brush the top of the rolls with some oil, place on baking paper and bake in the oven until golden (about 15 minutes in mine).

Watch them often as they tend to burn quite quickly.

Serve as a snack, a starter or a main course with a salad. (In case you wonder, I have sprinkled them with some shichimi togarashi, a Japanese spicy seasoning mixture).

34 thoughts on “Filo Rolls with Asparagus, Chorizo and Parmesan

  1. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles

    In fact, that was the first thing I was wondering!! (I noticed the sprinkles right away — both eye catching and intriguing). Sissi, this is precisely the kind of delightful bite I would like to serve at a spring brunch. It’s fun, different and has an element of excitement/celebration that makes it a little special thanks to the filo. I know what you mean about pulling out the whole spear, especially tricky when the asparagus is hot! I bet the spicy chorizo is delightful here with the Parm and I just love the colour of your baked filo – golden perfection; very appetizing. You have so many beautiful asparagus dishes for us — love your seasonal selection. The green is so pretty, isn’t it?

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you so much, Kelly. In fact I did these rolls twice and first time I put the whole spears… It was a nightmare to eat!
      I hope there are not many readers of my blog who hate asparagus… I’m afraid there will be some more recipes in the future too. I love it so much and have so much fun experimenting with it, I still wonder how I survived so many years without it!

  2. Eva Taylor

    We are all on the same page today Sissi, Charles just posted a lovely asparagus salad and we served asparagus at our Easter dinner yesterday so I had leftover asparagus for lunch! It really is an iconic vegetable and speaks volumes that it’s finally spring! I made crêpes with sautéed asparagus with onions and mini tomatoes and then I added a bit of soft goats cheese, oh my it was good.
    Your phyllo wraps are beautiful and I can just imaging how tasty they are too. Perfect for a summer garden party. Today we are expecting temperatures to hit 21°C but it sure was chilly for my walk in the park this morning.

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thanks a lot, Eva. Your crêpes sound fantastic! I must steal your idea 😉 I’m glad it’s finally warm in Canada.

  3. A_Boleyn

    Another great idea for using phyllo, Sissi. I grilled aspargus spears to serve with my Easter lamb and sprinkled the chopped spears with feta but some combination of those great flavours would be great in these cigars too.

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you, A_Boleyn (with your frequent filo posts you are the one who gave me the filo “virus”, remember? I am still very grateful!). Feta and asparagus go perfectly well together too. I have been meaning to post something with this combination too, but maybe I should wait a bit before my readers are bored to death by asparagus posts 😉

      1. A_Boleyn

        Although I’ve only made 4 phyllo posts, they seem to have inspired people to give the pastry a try which is very flattering. You can never have too many asparagus posts.

      2. A_Boleyn

        Sissi, I noticed that you used the Spanish style dry chorizo sausage which is pretty pricey at the only local place I can find it. I was happy to find the home made loose meat Mexican style chorizo is pretty tasty and worked well in my phyllo bars with spinach and some feta cheese.

        I’ve got a recipe for the Mexican version here in case anyone is feeling adventurous. And it’s pretty versatile as well.

        http://a-boleyn.livejournal.com/137517.html

        1. Sissi Post author

          Thank you for the link. I’m going to check it. (Here there are lots of cheap – and not always bad, but just different – copies of Spanish chorizo too, but the one coming from Spain is not expensive really (it’s not like certain hams…). Obviously we are not far from the source 😉

  4. wok with ray

    Asparagus, chorizo and parmesan — all perfect ingredients for a party finger food and on top of it, rolled in a filo. I can’t promise how many of your rolls I will eat; for sure not just one. Have a good week, Sissi! 🙂

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thanks a lot, Ray. I think that if you like the filling ingredients, you might end up eating lots of these 😉 They are light and disappear in no time at all.

  5. Juliana

    Oh Sissi, I just used up a package of filo dough, since it was my first time I just rolled it up with a mixture of butter, sugar and cinnamon…next time buying the dough I will try your recipe…so simple and yet elegant.
    Thanks for the inspiration….have a great week dear 😀

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thanks a lot, Juliana. Your sweet filo dish sounds delicious. Do experiment with filo! I am sure you will have fun. ! I certainly do 🙂

  6. Katerina

    Now that’s an interesting idea! I haven;t thought of covering asparagus with phylo. I love it! And they look very elegant and sophisticated. Perfect to impress your guests!

  7. Karen (Back Road Journal)

    Sissi, I love the combination of flavors in your asparagus rolls. They are so pretty, they would be perfect as a starter course when entertaining guests. Thanks for the tip about cutting them into thirds…that does indeed make it easier to eat them, especially when hot.

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you so much, Karen. Actually (apart from asparagus and filo) the ingredients were quite accidental. I have put what I found in the fridge and could be rolled into a filo cigar 😉

  8. Shannon Lim

    This is indeed a lovely & easy snack for a party. Glad you gave the tips about cutting the spears into 3 section, I wouldn’t have thought it would be difficult to eat.. I hardly cook with asparagus, normally just simple stir fry. baked asparagus wrapped with parma ham was delicious! Thanks for the huge range of recipes for inspiration.

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thnks a lot, Shannon. I had this idea after my first test when I struggled a lot… Asparagus is healthy and delicious, so I’m always glad to find new ways to cook it.

  9. Shu Han

    You should see the British when it’s asparagus season- they go mad! Some insist the only way to enjoy it is pure unadulterated, i.e. steamed, with butter. But as much as I love asparagus, I feel it’s only one other vegetable that I love- haha no favourites with me! I’ve not been as creative with my asparagus as you have though… cigars are such a cool idea! Such a badass name lol. Looking forward to try the sushi too, love how when cut, you see the ends of them in the cross-section. Beautiful!

    Been too busy to blog recently (as always), but always nice to come to your blog and find such fresh fun ideas! x

    1. Sissi Post author

      Hi, Shu Han. Thank you for the compliments. Yes, I know… the French do the same, but with hollandaise sauce or tartare sauce. It’s a bit like scallops: they support so well even very hot Thai seasoning and I never understood why everyone in France (Europe?) insists on treating them as if the taste was supposed to disappear with any stronger spice.
      I love asparagus, but of course I couldn’t say which is my number one vegetable (though I can say which one I really dislike: pumpkin (yes, I know… strange, even more because I think it’s the only one I dislike).

        1. Sissi Post author

          Haha! I knew I’d surprise you. My husband doesn’t like it either, so after many unsuccessful tests to start liking it, I gave up and never buy it. I tried it sweet (when I made once a pumpkin tart my American friend went crazy and ate half of the tart in one go, but I disliked it so much, I gave her the rest), savoury, spiced up (whenever I am forced to eat it somewhere, chilli flakes greatly improve my impression 😉 ), I decided I’m just not fond of it.
          It’s not that I hate it (the way children hate for example spinach), but just find it too sweet for a vegetable, but too bland for a fruit. On the other hand I find it beautiful and love the smell when it’s raw. (Maybe I should eat it raw???).

  10. mjskit

    I love it when you make it YOUR way! Your way is so much better than anything out there on the web. I mean who in their right mind would not die for these asparagus “cigars”? I can’t imagine (actually I can 🙂 ) the heavenly burst of flavor when you bite through the phyllo into a thick slice of chorizo!! Absolutely Delicious my dear friend!!!!

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you so much, MJ. I think there must be people who hate asparagus… somewhere.

  11. Charles

    I love the green asparagus (I’m afraid I just can’t stand the white… it’s just… awful, in every way) and I totally agree, it’s so versatile! Dip it in eggs for breakfast, serve with meat for lunch, stir-fry with almonds for dinner, yum yum!

    By the way, à propos nothing at all, do you have any good recipes for salsify? (salsisif en French I think). I finally tried a can before leaving France (never saw it fresh) and I LOVED it, but I couldn’t really find any good-looking recipes for it and I figured you might know some?!

    1. Sissi Post author

      Hi, Charles. I do like the white asparagus a lot, but it’s not easy to prepare, it’s easily overcooked and often has to be peeled, so I eat it rarely.
      You know, salsify is not a very popular vegetable in France I think (it’s one of those old vegetables which are lately in fashion, but very few people cook it); anyway, I have never cooked it, so I can’t help you. Sorry. (I have never seen it canned… I must check it).

  12. Nami | Just One Cookbook

    Chorizo! Nice, that’s a great addition that I wouldn’t come up on my own. Looking at your asparagus menus, I think I want to eat ALL of your asparagus dishes. They all look delicious and just the perfect way that I would love to eat. Our taste buds must be so similar. 😉

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you so much, Nami. I think our taste buds are very very similar (the only difference is mine crave hot chilli all the time 😉 ).

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