This time of year, recipes for asparagus are as plentiful as tree pollen (but not quite as excessive as recipes for ramps). The Accidental Locavore shares recipes and ideas for asparagus (to see how to pick asparagus check out the “How To” section).
No recipes needed to grill asparagus, one of my favorite ways to cook them. If they’re not too big, just toss them in some olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, and throw them on the grill for 5-10 minutes, turn after a couple of minutes and cook until they start to have grill marks, are flexible and cooked through. If you’re working with bigger stalks, you might want to steam them (I use the microwave) for 4 minutes, then toss in olive oil and grill, or skip the steaming and just cook them a little longer over slightly lower heat (charred is not good).
This may sound a little crazy: a great recipe for grilling asparagus is to marinate them in a mayonnaise mix, then grill them. This recipe is adapted from Food & Wine. Feel free to substitute and/or add things like mustard, hot sauce, or sprinkle with something like Parmesan Cheese before or after grilling. Added bonus? The asparagus won’t stick to the grill. 6 servings if you’re not too greedy.
- ½ cup mayonnaise (make your own-it’s easy and tastes so much better)
- ¼ cup olive oil (use a good quality)
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove, crushed (use the back of a knife)
- 1 tablespoon sweet, smoked paprika (you can use the hot smoked paprika if you like, or substitute a little of the sauce from chipotles in adobo)
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon cumin (if you don’t have the smoked paprika, just use a little more cumin for that smoky taste)
- 1 pound thick asparagus, woody bottoms snapped off or cut
Light a grill. In a shallow dish, whisk the mayonnaise with all the other ingredients, except the asparagus. Add the asparagus, toss and let sit for 30 minutes. Grill the asparagus over moderately high heat, turning to cook evenly, until tender, about 5-10 minutes.
Asparagus are also good roasted. Same principle as grilling, just toss in olive oil, salt and pepper and roast them in a 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until they’re cooked through.
I’ve roasted them with sprinkles of goat cheese and herbs de Provence, ok but not great. Better is some lemon zest, and grated Parmesan (you can add before they go in, or sprinkle on before serving.
When you steam them (4-5 minutes in the microwave and they keep their color), or (steam them in a pan) on top of the stove, to jazz them up a little hollandaise sauce is delicious, decadent and easy to make. Recently I made an “homage to hollandaise” with about ½ cup crème fraiche, 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard and a little squeeze of lemon juice mixed together and served with roasted asparagus. Not quite the guilt of hollandaise.
What’s your favorite recipe for asparagus?