I was not introduced to asparagus until I was in college, and I distinctly remember trying it for the first time on a trip to Atlanta. It was cooked perfectly – still crisp, slightly charred, and with a light lemon flavor. It has since become one of my favorite vegetables of the spring and summer. And, to my delight, the kids love it as well. This recipe is my best attempt at perfecting that first restaurant quality bite, except in the comfort of my own home.
1½ pounds asparagus (approx. 40 spears) **Tips for buying and storing asparagus
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
Juice of one lemon
¼ cup slivered almonds –OR–
¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Heat your outdoor grill to high heat.
Wash and trim (about 1-2 inches off the rough end) the asparagus. Place the spears into a Ziploc bag, and add the remaining ingredients. Seal the bag tightly and shake to evenly coat the asparagus in the seasonings. Let sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes prior to cooking to allow the flavors to marinate.
Place the asparagus directly on the grill grates so the thickest ends are aimed at the hottest part of the grill. You can also use a grill pan if you prefer. Grill the spears for 4-5 minutes or until they are lightly charred and just fork tender. Turn them often so they brown on all sides.
Remove from heat and serve. Though, if you choose to, it is also delicious garnished with one of the two optional ingredients from above.
Indoor Option: Heat oven to 425˚and place marinated asparagus on a roasting pan lined with foil. Roast for 10 minutes or until they are lightly charred and just fork tender.