I hope my mother in law won’t be upset with me, but one of the first meals I remember I had at Heather’s parent’s place involved such a thing. This was early on in the relationship so I didn’t want to hurt her feelings so say anything that may upset her. I never did say anything at first, but of course now things have changed. We have a lot more fun with it now! The first time I brought it up though I remember that instead of insulting her, I simply asked if I could do the cooking. I think I grilled up some steaks, and some potatoes, and I did the same thing to the asparagus. Heather’s parents loved it! I was so happy. I get put to work now anytime we go over to their place for dinner, and I end up doing most of the cooking. What have I done? Grilling asparagus is a perfect way of making sure there is no discoloration or nutrient loss as can happen with traditional boiling. Steaming is okay too, but I like my asparagus with a bit of crunch, and those grill marks sure help!
The first step in making sure you grill the best asparagus, is to buy the right size. Asparagus comes in many different thicknesses, everything from regular, to extra, to jumbo. My preference would be regular, as it has the right amount of sweetness to it, and it won’t fall through the grill! Jumbo asparagus tends to be a little more bitter than I would like, so I usually avoid it. Most grocery stores will have different sizes so make sure you find a size that isn’t too big. Use your best judgement.
Make sure to trim off the fibrous ends of the asparagus too. It’s like eating a soft tree branch.
There, I’ve convinced you not to eat it!
Simply trim the asparagus roughly two inches on the bottom, and you will get the best parts of the asparagus.
The recipe I used is very simple. I use good quality olive oil, garlic and salt and pepper. I toss the asparagus in that and simply put it on the grill at a fairly high temperature. I want to get color on the asparagus quickly, but make sure to move them around often as they can burn. Burnt asparagus is really bitter so don’t do it!
After about 5 minutes or so, the asparagus should have good color on it, take it off and toss it into a bowl. Here’s the best part. All you need is a tablespoon of butter, and some lemon juice, and that’s it! If you are dairy free, you could add in a flavored oil of your choice, or even some finely chopped marjoram adds a ton of flavor.
- 2 pounds of asparagus with the tips removed
- 2 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves of finely chopped garlic
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 Tablespoon of butter
- the juice and zest of one lemon
- Set your grill to medium high heat
- Toss the asparagus in the olive oil, garlic, and season with salt and pepper.
- Put on the grill and cook for 3-5 minutes. The asparagus should be al dente, with a bit of bite, and have good caramelization on it.
- It should be golden brown, but not black.
- Take off the grill in mix in a bowl with the butter, lemon zest, and juice. Feel free to add your favorite fresh herbs as well.
There are so many other things you could do with this recipe. You could heat up some high quality tomato sauce and add some of that on top with from freshly grated Parmesan cheese. You could also add in a touch of smoked paprika when grilling to add a nice Cajun flavor. The possibilities are endless with asparagus, but this is the basic way to grill it to make sure it stays nice and green, and keeps all its nutrients.
Asparagus is packed with a lot of healthy goodness too! It’s a good source of fiber, folate, vitamins, A, C, E, and K. Asparagus is also packed with antioxidants, and glutathione, which helps to break down carcinogens in the body.
Eat more asparagus! Let me know what you think of this recipe in the comments!