Toasted Garlic and Asparagus Salad with Crispy Proscuitto

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Serves 5-6 as a side dish

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

5 cloves of garlic, sliced evenly thin

4 slices of Proscuitto, sliced into ¼ inch strips

1 bunch asparagus, washed and trimmed whole

1 Tbsp sherry vinegar

Salt and cracked black pepper to taste

Blanch the asparagus, making sure they are completely try.  Set aside.

Heat ¼ cup of olive oil on a medium-low flame in a small sauté pan. Add the sliced garlic and slowly cook the garlic for 6-10 minutes stirring now and then for even browning. You want the garlic to turn a toasty brown, but not burn. Once the garlic is toasty brown remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Transfer the olive oil to a small bowl and set aside.

Leaving enough oil in the pan to coat it, return the pan to the stove. Heat the pan on medium high and add the sliced proscuitto. If the proscuitto strips are sticking together, don't worry, they will separate in the pan as they toast. Brown the proscuitto in the pan for 4-5 minutes stirring now and then to separate the pieces and for even cooking. The proscuitto will get crispy. Depending on the brand of proscuitto, you may need to add a little more oil to the pan to prevent sticking.

Add the toasted garlic, toasted proscuitto, and sherry  vinegar to the bowl of garlic oil and stir to combine.

In a larger bowl toss the asparagus with enough of the garlic dressing to coat each piece evenly. You can drizzle more of the oil around the edges or

save it for your favorite pasta. Season with salt and pepper to taste.