It occurred to me last week that something I cook all the time would be a great How To for Tri-Cooking: asparagus! When Mike and I cook chicken or steak on the grill we usually accompany it with asparagus. I always think about whether to post the recipe for chicken or steak if it turns out delicious but asparagus never crossed my mind. We love roasting asparagus, we love it so much that we prefer our asparagus to many restaurant asparagus. I don’t mean to sound like a food snob but that’s just our preference. I think if you try cooking it our way you’ll understand. :)
There are two methods we most commonly use: roasting and wrapping it with cream cheese or mascarpone and prosciutto. The prosciutto method is the tastier one in my opinion but the cheap and simple (and still delicious) way is roasting. In the summertime we usually roast it on the grill rather than heating up the oven and making the apartment the temperature of a furnace.
When you buy asparagus at the store they have it in a bundle with two rubber bands. We usually don’t eat our asparagus the day we buy it and the best tip to keep it fresh is to wet a paper towel and wrap it around the bottom of the stalks. This will keep the ends from getting mushy. We had asparagus go bad very quickly before we learned this trick and it was really disappointing to waste money. But waste money no more!
If you have any stalks with mushy ends throw them away- they are no good. Season the asparagus with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roll the asparagus around to get them well coated. Sometimes I like to add a little crushed garlic if I’m roasting them in the oven.
Heat your grill to medium-high heat. Place the asparagus on the grill and let them cook about ten minutes, rotating every few minutes. Now here’s what’s key: cook them until they get a black char on them. If you don’t like char then take them off the grill once they start to char. But we love them this way. It’s like hot dogs- I used to like my hot dogs cooked but with very little char on them. Now I like them with some char but not blackened to a crisp.
If you want to roast them in the oven preheat your oven to about 375 degrees. Place the asparagus on a baking sheet and season. Cook for about ten minutes or so, the ends of the asparagus will start to look a little dry when they are done.
I hope you enjoy our method of cooking asparagus and check back for part 2!