Simple and Elegant Asparagus on the Grill
I love asparagus. Where I live, the season for fresh is fleeting, so I try to eat it every week until it becomes cost-prohibitive. Sometimes I am lucky enough to eat freshly picked from my friend's gardens because, like most crops, they come in with abundance. Grilling is my favorite way to prepare them.
Versatile grilling methods
Some folks like to put their asparagus on a grilling tray and put it directly on the heat. Others like to skewer them together like a raft for easy handling. Some lay them right on the grill and hope for the best and some put them in foil packets. I am sharing the foil packet method with you today, simply because I find it to be fool-proof.
Thick is Best
Thick asparagus spears are best for grilling if you are going to put them directly on the grate. That smokey flavor and char taste screams summer to me. You don't need a blazing hot fire for cooking, but you do need it to be hot enough to add that char taste without burning.
I find the foil packet method the best because you can prep them ahead of time and cook them at anytime the grill is going. Please remember once you take them off, they will continue to cook so you don't want to wait too long before eating.
The bigger the asparagus is, the better.
When buying, you want the bright green stalks and closed tips. If the tips are wet, pass them up.
Store asparagus like flowers in water after cutting the bottom of the stems. Cover the bunch with a plastic produce bag, tucking it in the glass to keep the air out. They will last a week or longer this way.
When prepping cut the stalks off a couple of inches from the bottom. You could break it and see about where the tough part starts at the break, however, you will have to find your way with exactly where to cut it.
Medium-high heat seems to work best.
Store cooked asparagus and use on salads or vegetable trays. Chop up and eat straight from the fridge!
A lemon squeeze before serving brings out the flavor of the char too. I used a dash of nutritional yeast for a depth of added flavor.
Ingredients used in this dish
Fresh Asparagus spears- I used the largest ones I could find at the market. One source said pointer finger size if you can find it.
Olive Oil- EVOO is good but not critical. A lemon-flavored oil would add a bit more flavor too.
Balsamic Vinegar- Aged is great, a fig flavor would also add a bit of sweetness too.
Salt- I used sea salt, coarse grind as it will melt in the cooking process and be subtle.
Pepper- Ground black kitchen pepper works great.
Nutritional Yeast- I sprinkled it on at the end for a little extra umami flavor.
Equipment needed for this dish
Grill- I cook over wood, however gas and charcoal work just fine over medium-high heat. You could also make this dish in the oven at 400F for 10 minutes.
Aluminum Foil- 18-inch heavy-duty does the trick, I doubled it and used about 4 feet total.
Measuring spoons- To accurately measure the Olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Measuring ensures a delicious end result.
Watch my video on prepping asparagus