Grilling is my favorite way to prepare Spring-fresh asparagus. It’s crunch and earthiness retained; its asparagus-ness seemingly amplified. This simple preparation is one I’ll frequently use. It’s easy, it’s pretty and it’s simply delicious.
Lemon-Grilled Asparagus with Flaked Sea Salt
- one bunch asparagus (not too thin)
- zest and juice of one lemon
- 2 Tbl. olive oil
- 2 tsp. Sea salt – (Flaked or Fleur de Sel if you have it)
- Freshly ground black pepper
Remove the woody lower ends of the asparagus and, with a vegetable peeler, peel the stalks to within about 4 inches of the top. (This will allow them to soak up more of the flavors and cook more quickly and evenly.)
Remove the zest of the lemon and in a small bowl mix it with the salt, rubbing it with your fingers to combine. (I’ll use this simple combination on many vegetables. You can keep it on hand for several days to a week with very little deterioration in flavor.) Squeeze the juice of the lemon into a shallow bowl and roll the asparagus in it giving it a minute or two to absorb a little of the juice. In the same shallow bowl, pour the olive oil, and coat the asparagus thoroughly.
On a medium-hot grill, position the asparagus diagonally and allow to cook a couple minutes before turning. Turn and cook about another two minutes. Finished asparagus will be cooked tender, but still crisp. Sprinkle the zested sea salt on top and serve.
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