Recipe: grilled asparagus
A friend asked if I was planning to photograph the transit of Venus on Tuesday. In all honesty, the transit wasn’t a high priority for me because the eclipse was so bloody awesome. But I find as these events near, I am still interested in seeing them and hopefully capturing them if I’m lucky. The big lenses were rented out, I was teaching a private lesson, and the forecast was for clouds. So my expectations for the transit were zippo. Instead, I spent the day working with Ellen, the boss lady of Helliemae’s Handcrafted Caramels. [Please consider hopping over to her site, clicking on the Mission: Small Business link, and following the steps to vote for Helliemae's so she can qualify to compete for a small business grant. Thanks!]
did i ever mention how much i love caramels?
It was still cloudy as I broke down the equipment from the lesson, but then I noticed a shadow on the ground and turned to see a fuzzy disc of glowing plasma in the sky. I couldn’t help but get my gear together and try to shoot the transit – it was time (started around 4:30 pm MDT). There was a ton of moisture in the air and always a thin cloud layer fuzzing out the details, but I managed one window of less than 30 seconds when I think the sun was as clear as it was going to get all day. It’s not as cool as a total solar eclipse, but it’s still VERY SERIOUSLY AWESOMELY COOL to see the transit of Venus. So there.
she’s got it, yeah baby she’s got it…
The days have been kinda hot lately which puts me in a bit of a mood such that I have little interest in doing anything near the oven or stove. Grilling it is! One of our favorite things to grill is asparagus. Sure you can steam them, stir-fry them, roast them, but grilled is my #1 best way to prepare asparagus. I just love those fat, sweet, juicy spears tossed in the bare minimum of seasonings and grilled until just blistering. We’ve been noshing on these for several weeks now.
fat asparagus is wonderful
salt, pepper, olive oil
washed and trimmed
I break the woody ends of the spears off with my hands. I just give a little bend starting at the base and work my way up until the stalk gives and breaks at a natural transition from tough to tender. Give them a rinse in water and pat them dry. Place the spears in a baking dish, add seasonings and oil, then toss.
drizzle some olive oil
sprinkle salt and pepper
toss to get an even coat on all of the spears
This takes minutes to prepare and cook, yet it’s a total crowd-pleaser… unless you don’t like vegetables and then – what is WRONG with you?! Plop them on the grill. Pro tip: line them up perpendicular to the grates or else you won’t be having asparagus to eat. How long you grill them depends on how you like your asparagus cooked and how strong your grill is. Jeremy likes to grill about 3 minutes a side (two sides) over high flame until they just begin to blister and char.
on the grill
done, but still nice and green
The tips get a little crunchy from the char and the stalks are incredibly sweet and juicy. It’s a great way to get your vegetable on and don’t be surprised if you polish them off in one sitting. That’s why we always double the recipe. If you manage any leftovers, slice them into 1-inch pieces and toss onto a salad. Fantastic.
about 2 pounds of asparagus
eat immediately if you haven’t started nibbling already
1 lb. asparagus (I prefer the fat spears), bases trimmed off
2 tbsps olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
*Trim the bases of the asparagus spears. You can either cut them with a knife or break them off by hand. I prefer to break them off by hand by starting with the base between my thumb and index finger and giving it a slight bend. If it gives easily, let it break off. If it doesn’t, then it’s too woody and you want to inch up the spear just a bit and try bending again. Repeat until you find a natural breaking point.
Heat your grill to high (about 400°F). Wash the asparagus and pat dry. Place in a baking dish and toss with olive oil, salt, and ground pepper until all of the spears are coated. When the grill is hot, place the spears across the grates and grill about 3 minutes then flip them over. Grill another 3 minutes or so until just blistering (that’s how we like it, you can cook more or less to your desired doneness). Remove from heat and serve. Serves 2 people who love asparagus. Note: Definitely double the recipe.