If you need space on the grill for other things, you can remove the asparagus when almost done, cook the other stuff, then reheat for a minute or two. Of course, it’s also delicious at room temperature, so you can just take it off when it’s done and eat it when everything else is ready. Leftovers are great cut up and tossed in a salad or with pasta, but Arne and I almost never leave any.
Spring has sprung! It’s grilling time. Asparagus will soon be ubiquitous in stores. And that works out well, because one of my very favorite things to grill is asparagus. It’s the perfect side dish to grilled meats, fish, or tofu and, if you’re grilling already, will add almost no time to your dinner prep.
I love asparagus almost any way, but it may be most delicious when grilled. The vegetable soaks up smoky flavors while the dry heat concentrates its flavor. The finished asparagus is juicy, toothsome, and absolutely luscious. Save your Hollandaise for another time – these green jewels need no embellishment.
This is less a recipe than a method. Snap the woody bottoms off a bunch of asparagus. (You can wash it either before or after trimming.) Place the spears in a container long enough to hold them level. I use a rectangular plastic container, but something like a lasagna pan would work too. Drizzle with a tablespoon or two of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, then shake the container around so all the spears get anointed.
Use tongs to place the asparagus on a hot grill, perpendicular to the grate bars so the spears don’t fall through. Grill, turning (or just kind of pushing them around) once or twice, until the spears are charred in places and tender to the bite. How long this takes depends on the thickness of the asparagus – I prefer thick spears for this – and the heat of your grill, but guess 5 to 10 minutes.
Remove from the heat and drizzle with a little more olive oil, if you like. Eat outdoors, with your fingers, as the sun sets and the evening cools around you.