Grilled Asparagus

This is the very best way to enjoy asparagus. For those of us in the upper Midwest, grilled asparagus is a special treat because it is one of the first items available as we unpack our outdoor grills each spring. It requires thicker spears so they don’t burn and are less likely to fall through the grates. Many cookbooks will recommend peeling the stem end of the asparagus spear, but in most cases, I find this unnecessary. When prepared on the grill, the tougher skin chars very nicely and I find the crunch an exciting texture contrast to the tenderness of the tip.
Serves: 4
1 pound thick asparagus spears, cut off woody white part
1/4 cup olive oil
Kosher salt to taste
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
Preheat a gas, charcoal, or wood grill to a fairly high heat. Arrange asparagus on a baking sheet. Pour oil over spears and liberally sprinkle with salt and pepper. Allow the asparagus to marinate for an hour or so in the oil. Place the asparagus on the grill grate. Try to keep the tender tips on the outside where the heat is lower and the thick stalks on the hotter part of the grill. Turn once or twice with tongs and cook until they become a little charred on the outside and a little tender on the inside, about 10 minutes.
Remove the asparagus from the grill and arrange on a decorative platter. Top with fresh tomato bruschetta, hollandaise sauce or a little mayo mixed with herbs. Grilled asparagus is the perfect accompaniment to grilled steak, chicken, or fish.
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