Thursday, March 4, 2010
Asparagus: Grilled or Roasted
Hands down, our favorite vegetable is Asparagus! Fresh asparagus, might I clarify!
I grew up eating asparagus occasionally, but most of the time it was out of a can or steamed with a lemon-butter sauce. It wasn't until Jonathan and I got married that we started grilling it or roasting it in the oven. Let me tell you: DIVINE!
The best part is that this is fool-proof. The preparation is literally seconds. The cook time is about 30 minutes TOPS. And even better, you can do this with SO many yummy vegetables out there if asparagus just isn't your thing. This is my method of seasoning all kinds of vegetables that I roast in my oven or throw on our grill.
Ingredients: asparagus, olive oil, salt, pepper
Cooking supplies: Foil, cookie sheet/grill pan/iron skillet
1 bunch of asparagus, cleaned, dried, and stems trimmed.
You want your asparagus cleaned but not damp or they will not cook properly. They'll steam instead of roasting and you don't want that. Roasting gets them to be that lovely brown, crispy, yumminess.
To trim your asparagus, pick up one stem. Hold one end in each hand and bend it. The lower end (not the tree-looking part) should break off with a snap! Where it snaps is where you want to trim your asparagus.
If you didn't trim it, the very ends would just be hard and stringy and not very tasty. You really should only be cutting away about 1/4 of each stem.
After I snap one asparagus stem, I usually use a knife and just cut the same amount off of the entire bunch.
For roasting: You can do this one of two ways:
1. Line your baking sheet with foil. Lay your cleaned and trimmed asparagus on baking sheet in a single layer (or as close to a single layer as you can). Drizzle olive oil over the top of the asparagus, approximate 1-2 tablespoons. Using your fingers, toss the asparagus stems in the oil until it is distributed evenly. Season with salt and pepper. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until asparagus are starting to crisp at the tips! You want them slightly firm, but not crunchy!
2. Place cleaned and trimmed asparagus in seasoned iron skillet. Drizzle olive oil over the asparagus stems, approximately 1-2 tablespoons. Using your fingers, toss the asparagus until oil is evenly distributed. Season with salt and pepper. Bake at 350 for 25-30, checking once or twice and tossing asparagus to make sure they are cooking evenly. They are done with crispy at the tips and slightly firm. If you want them more tender, keep on cooking!
For grilling: Line a grill tray with foil. Lay your cleaned and trimmed asparagus on baking sheet in a single layer (or as close to a single layer as you can). Drizzle olive oil over the top of the asparagus, approximate 1-2 tablespoons. Using your fingers, toss the asparagus stems in the oil until it is distributed evenly. Season with salt and pepper. Place grill tray on preheated grill over medium heat for 20-25 minutes, stirring and tossing occasionally so as not to char them. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
***I follow this process exactly with broccoli, squash, and zucchini! So delicious! We LOVE to grill out in the summer and springtime, so the next time you are going to throw some steaks or chicken on the grill, try out some vegetables! You won't regret it!