Thursday, March 17, 2005

Grilled Asparagus Parmesan

This is by far my favorite grilled vegetable recipe. Asparagus is just such a fun food, and it is so easy to make. The grilling carmelizes the asparagus just a bit, the parmesan adds a simple texture and the spices really excite the entire dish!

Ingredients:
  • 5-10 Asparagus spears
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Fresh basil, finely chopped, to taste
  • Fresh grated parmesan cheese, to taste
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Zest of lemon, finely chopped, to taste
  • Zest of orange, finely chopped, to taste

Special equipment:

  • Grilling equipment
  • Two kabob spears

Normally, when cooking asparagus the temptation is to cut off the thick part of the root before cooking. Because we're going on the grill with this, I recommend doing that after cooking.

Prepare the asparagus by skewering the stems with the kabob spears, to kind of make "asparagus rafts." This will make cooking on the grill easy. The asparagus will tend to split if you are not careful, so be careful!

Grill the asparagus up on high grill heat about 3-5 minutes each side. I really like the fresh taste of asparagus while it is still crunchy, so I grill it less--others may want to grill more.

When done, remove from grill. Now is the time to cut the thick part of the stems off so that you have nice full-length stems that are slightly carmelized (blackened) from cooking and nice and warm. You may want to cut the asparagus into bite-sized pieces here, but I like to keep each stem whole.

Place the asparagus in a bowl. Toss the asparagus with the lemon juice, lemon and orange zest, basil, black pepper, and salt. Once tossed, cover with freshly-grated parmesan cheese and serve.

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