Asparagus Spears Wrapped in Phyllo

I have no idea where this recipe came from, but it is a "standard" at my house and never seems to disappoint. This one is super simple and so tasty.  Last night, Casa Stone had a surprise guest and the Chef de Cuisine didn't feel like hitting the grocery store.  Hunting for ideas, I checked my options.  The freezer section of the SZ produced a box of phyllo!  The veggie bin produced a pretty bundle of asparagus.  And, there's always a hunk of parmesan cheese in my cheese drawer.  VOILA!  Asparagus Wrapped in Phyllo!

1 Bundle of Asparagus (use the regular ones or the bundle of small ones)
1/2 package of frozen phyllo dough, thawed (I cut the roll in half and put the rest back in the freezer)
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
Fresh Ground Pepper

1 Sheet Parchment Paper

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. 

(1)  Snap off one end of your asparagus; you can pretty much guarantee that the entire bundle will have the same snap point, so use this as a guide and cut the rest of the bunch at the same length.  If you are using the smaller asparagus, you will not need to cut them, they're pretty tender.
 (2) Unroll the 1/2 roll of the phyllo dough.  Cut that in half, so you have 2 8" (approx) sections of sheets.  You'll probably only use 1/2 of this, so get the others back in the plastic and in the freezer (read:  YIPPEE - you will have enough Phyllo for three more batches of this tasty treat - your neighbors will love you!) 

 (3)  2 ways to approach this next step:  (a)  Brush the top sheet LIGHTLY with the melted butter.  Literally, just dip your brush into the butter, don't drench it in butter or they won't crisp nicely when you bake them ("lessons learned" by Chris). or (b) Cover the whole stack with a damp towel and take only one sheet from the stack and lightly butter it. 

(4)  Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of parmesan over the buttered phyllo sheet.  If you are using the regular size asparagus, use two spears, if you're using the mini ones (which you won't have to snap), use 4 spears.  Put the asparagus at the short end of the buttered, cheesed phyllo sheet, put a couple of grinds of black pepper on top, and roll it up (cigar style).

(5)  Lay the phyllo-wrapped asparagus, seam side down on a parchment lined jelly-roll style cookie sheet.  Brush them with a little butter - again, not too much as you don't want them to get soggy.  Sprinkle a little more parm on top.

Bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, until they are golden and crispy.

(you might want to make that 2nd batch, afterall.  I can never seem to get one of these before they're all gone!)

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