• 20 small trimmed asparagus spears

  • 20 slices Parma ham (one slice per asparagus spear)

  • For the tapenade (makes approx 675g/1lb 8oz)

  • 85g/3oz capers, drained and rinsed

  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard

  • 12 basil leaves, ripped

  • 175ml/6fl oz extra virgin olive oil

  • 450g/1lb pitted black olives, marinated in olive oil

  • 1 tsp ground black pepper

  • 1 tbsp aged red wine vinegar

  • 3 tbsp chopped parsley (optional)

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 1.

    To make the tapenade, combine the ingredients down to and including the vinegar in a food processor and blend until smoothish, but allowing some texture to remain.

  • 2.

    Fold in parsley if using, and season to taste.

  • 3.

    Boil or steam the asparagus, drain, set aside and leave until cold. (To boil submerge in a large pan of boiling water, cover and cook for 3-6 minutes. To steam, stand the asparagus in 3 inches of boiling water, cover and cook for 3-6 minutes).

  • 4.

    Spread each slice of parma ham thinly with tapenade.

  • 5.

    Wrap each asparagus spear in a slice of the tapenade-spread parma ham and serve.

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