ASPARAGUS & PANCETTA ON A HIMALAYAN SALT BLOCK
- 2 tablespoons bitter orange marmalade
- 2 tablespoons mustard oil (available in Indian groceries)
- Juice of ½ orange (2 to 3 tablespoons)
- 1 tablespoon chopped kalamata olives
- 1 tablespoon brown mustard seeds
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
- 1 pound green asparagus spears
- 12 pieces thinly sliced pancetta (3 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Place the salt block over low heat on a grill or stovetop for 10 minutes. Turn the heat to medium and heat for 10 more minutes. Goal temperature is 350°F.
- While the salt block is heating, mix the marmalade, mustard oil, orange juice, olives, mustard seeds, and chives in a small bowl suitable for dipping; set aside.
- Cut or snap the tough ends off the asparagus and wrap the asparagus in a piece of pancetta.
- If using thin asparagus, wrap in bundles of three; if using medium-thick, wrap in pairs; and if using thick mommas, wrap individually.
- Brush the wrapped asparagus with the olive oil and season with pepper.
- Put the asparagus bundles on the hot salt block, close the lid, and grill until the pancetta has rendered about one-quarter of its fat and is beginning to crisp on the bottom, about 4 minutes.
- The asparagus will turn brighter green.
- Turn the bundles over, close the lid, and grill until the pancetta is cooked on the other side, about 3 more minutes. Serve with the dipping sauce.
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