Deviled Ham Melts with Asparagus

Pumpernickel bread is a yummy bed for melted cheeses over imported ham and asparagus.


  • 1 bunch thin asparagus spears
  • 1/2 pound deli-sliced imported ham, coarsely chopped
  • 3-4 tablespoons red onion, grated or finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, grated or pasted
  • 1 small Fresno chili pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 small celery rib from the heart, coarsely chopped
  • A small handful of flat leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce, such at Frank’s RedHot
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (about 1/3 palmful)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 slices good-quality pumpernickel bread (from a large, round loaf)
  • About 1 cup shredded Gruyère cheese, shredded
  • About 1 cup sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded


In a large skillet, bring a couple of inches of water to a boil. Add the asparagus and cook for 3 minutes. Using tongs, transfer to a towel to cool.

Pre-heat the oven to 375°F.

In a food processor, pulse the ham, onion, garlic, chili pepper, celery, parsley, mustard, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce and paprika into a spread. Season with salt and pepper.

Arrange the bread on a baking sheet and spread evenly with a thick layer of the deviled ham. Set the asparagus spears across the ham spread, cover with the cheeses and bake until golden and toasted, 10-12 minutes.

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