Monday, March 9, 2009

Grilled Asparagus

Submitted by Michelle

Next to eggplant, asparagus is one of my all time favorite veggies to grill. It is in high season in my neck of the woods so I've been getting beautiful bunches at the Farmer's Market each week as well as in my big box of produce that I pick up on Tuesdays. The lovely stalks shown below were grown in Coachella, which is not more than 5 miles from my house. I find it so satisfying to spend my hard earned money on food that is grown locally. It feels good to support farmers in my own neighborhood.
Since I had such a large amount of asparagus, and since my sous chef Celeste was visiting over the weekend, I decided to grill some asparagus for our Sunday dinner.

We started with a simple vinaigrette made of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper. The garlic is optional, but I love it. And when making a vinaigrette, keep in mind that the olive oil to vinegar proportions are 3:1. (I used 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of vinegar.)
Celeste whisked it all up for me...
and then I poured it over the asparagus and let it marinade for about 1 hour.
The asparagus had relatively thin stalks so I did not par-cook it at all. When dinner was almost ready, I turned on the grill and put the asparagus on.
I grilled the asparagus about 4 minutes and then rolled it over and grilled it 4 minutes more. The end result was tender yet crisp asparagus with a smokey flavor.
As I like to say: It tastes so good and it is so good FOR you.

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