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Friday, 18 June 2010

Grilled Asparagus

Here's another recipe with asparagus. Make the most of them, while they are in season: grilled, they are particularly delicious. Oh, you can make this recipe using a barbecue too, so here's an alternative to your usual coleslaw salad!

INGREDIENTS (for four people)
  • 20 super-fresh asparagus
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Lemon
  • Salt & pepper
Get rid of the woody part of the asparagus stalks. How do you distinguish when the edible part starts and  the woody section ends? You can do this by applying a light pressure about halfway each stalk, as if you wanted to break them in two with your hands - which, by the way, it's exactly what you are trying to do. You will find that they snap in exactly the point where the woody part starts and the tender one ends. You can tidy up the 'messy ends' by pairing them with a knife. Bring a small saucepan of water to the boil, and plunge your asparagus in, so that they stand upright. The ends should be above the water, so that the stem boils and the end steams. Clever, uhu? Whoever came up with this cooking method certainly is.
After 4 - 5 minutes, drain your asparagus. I actually reserve the (cooled) water to water my house plants, as it's rich in all the vitamins and minerals the asparagus have lost while cooking. You can do this with all the vegetables, except with maybe cauliflower as I find it really makes your plants stink. But back to our grilled asparagus! Toss them in a little olive oil and get a cast iron griddled pan nice and hot. It is essential to let the pan heat up properly to allow the asparagus to brown without losing too much moisture.
Lay each asparagus on the grill and let it cook for about 3-4 minutes, then turn it around and cook the other side. Important: if you want your asparagus to obtain those attractive, brown, grilled lines, leave them alone! Don't keep on moving them around while they are on the grill. When done, let them cool a little and dress them with olive oil, salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon or a dash of white wine vinegar. Serve warm.

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