This extremely simple and quick recipe for grilling asparagus will turn the haters into raving fans. I speak from personal enlightenment;-). I cannot stand the stuff when it’s boiled, steamed, microwaved, baked, or prepared any other way than over a hot grill. The wonderful taste will keep your guests asking for more–promise you.
- Fresh asparagus, stalks should be as thin as available
- Olive oil
- Sea/Kosher salt
- Garlic powder
- Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
- A very hot grill (500-700F)
- A grate over the grill so the asparagus won’t fall through. The Lodge Logic Cast Iron Grill/Griddle is perfect for veggie grilling, although the grill grate pictured is an old steel grill grate I had on the gasser and was too lazy to replace it in our 108 degree Sacramento summer weather (it worked fine too).
Dredge the asparagus (one pound for 3-4 people) in a good extra virgin olive oil, making sure every stalk is well coated. Now, sprinkle sea salt LIBERALLY all over the asparagus. It’s almost impossible to use too much salt here–you’ll see why in a moment. Top off with a few good shakes of Lawry’s Seasoned Salt and then sprinkle some garlic power to taste.
Place the grill grate just off the direct fire, so that the leading edge of the grill grate is right where the fire source ends. Brush on a thin coating of olive oil to ensure a non-stick surface. We’re going to use indirect cooking first, but we want the fire very close. Using the tongs, lay out the stalks in one layer on the grill grate. Close the lid to the grill and let it cook for 5 minutes.
Open the grill lid, and check for color, which will be a brilliant green within 5-10 minutes, indicating that the Maillard Reaction has occurred. Once the color looks like the photograph above, move the entire grate directly over the fire, using your tongs. Here is when the magic starts. The hot fire burns the excess salt off the stalks, and leaves a perfectly seasoned, beautiful side dish for any beef or poultry entree.
Roll each stalk continuously until you start to see char marks which are caused by the burning salt. When all sides have nice black char marks, the color is right, and by touching the bottom of the stalks you feel some give in the texture, you’re done. Serve immediately.