Asparagus and Red Pepper Rolls

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Slather ham strips with a flavorful tapenade (olive, garlic, and caper mixture), add asparagus and red sweet peppers, and you have an elegant and delicious appetizer. 
To simplify preparation and cut your time in the kitchen, replace the homemade olive paste with purchased tapenade.

24   asparagus spears
6  ounces thinly sliced Spanish mountain cured ham or prosciutto
12   cured black olives or black olives in brine, pitted and chopped
2  cloves garlic, minced
1  teaspoon capers
1  teaspoon olive oil
1/4  teaspoon sherry vinegar or wine vinegar
24   basil leaves
3/4  cup roasted red sweet peppers, cut into thin strips (about 48)

1. Snap off and discard woody bases from asparagus. Place asparagus in a steamer basket over boiling water or directly in a small amount of boiling water; cook about 3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and rinse under cold water until cool; drain on paper towels.

2. Cut ham into 24 strips, about 8x1-1/2 inches each; set aside. Using a mortar and pestle or fork, mash olives, garlic, capers, olive oil, and vinegar into a chunky paste. Spread a heaping 1/4 teaspoon olive paste atop each ham strip. Lay 1 asparagus spear at 1 end of each slice of  ham. Place a basil leaf and 2 strips red pepper next to asparagus. Roll ham tightly around fillings, covering each except for tops; repeat with
remaining ingredients. Serve immediately or cover and chill for up to 4 hours. Makes 24 rolls. 

Source:  Better Homes & Gardens

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