I love the sight of asparagus in the produce aisle. It's a great sign that spring has arrived. Spring asparagus is often pencil-thin, and it's tender and delicious whether cooked or raw. I like this recipe for roasted asparagus bundles because the dish is so versatile and easy. You can offer it as a first course or a side dish for lunch or dinner. It's also lovely on the brunch table.

If you have vegetarians among your guests, replace the prosciutto with a blanched leek and use it as a tie to hold the cheese. This spring asparagus dish is beautiful, quick and easy. The bundles can be made a few days in advance and covered tightly in your refrigerator. Bring them to room temperature then broil them close to serving time. I like using fontina cheese, but they also would work with mozzarella or burrata.

Roasted Asparagus Bundles with Fontina and Prosciutto

Makes 10 bundles

40 standard asparagus spears, about 2 pounds

2 tablespoons melted butter

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to garnish plates

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 cup (about 6 ounces) grated fontina cheese

10 slices (about 1/4 pound) prosciutto

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2. Trim the tough ends off the asparagus (about 1 1/2 inches from the bottom of the stalk). Transfer asparagus to a medium bowl. Add the melted butter, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper; toss to coat thoroughly. Spread the asparagus in a single layer on a sheet pan. Roast until tender, about 10 minutes, stirring once with tongs to ensure they cook evenly. Let cool slightly.

3. Turn the oven to broil.

4. Assemble the bundles: Lay a slice of prosciutto horizontally on a work surface. Put 4 stalks of asparagus, vertically, on top. Across the equator of the stalk, sprinkle 1 1/2 tablespoons of grated fontina. Wrap the prosciutto around the fontina. The spears should peek out of the top and bottom. (For a vegetarian bundle, instead of prosciutto, substitute a strip of leek that has been blanched in boiling water for 1 minute or until limp.)

5. Brush the prosciutto with olive oil. Transfer bundles to a sheet pan. Broil until the asparagus sizzles and the cheese melts, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

-- Parties That Cook

Bibby Gignilliat is the founder of Parties That Cook, a San Francisco-based culinary event company; www.partiesthatcook.com.