I prefer grilled asparagus to steamed because I can easily do it alongside other grilling tasks, but also because it’s more forgiving. Oversteam asparagus and it gets flaccid; leave it a minute too long on the grill and it gets a nice char but retains flavor and texture as the skin tightens around the flesh. Serves four.
1 lb asparagus
Extra virgin olive oil (this recipe deserves the good stuff)
Lemon and/or fresh lemon juice
Garlic, a clove or two, peeled and chopped, optional
Salt and pepper
Method: wash asparagus and cut the dried off ends off the stalks, about 1/2 inch from the bottom. Using a peeler remove the outer layer on any very large, woody stalks. (Optional: I’ve hardly ever encountered a tough, chewy asparagus skin but it’s unpleasant when it happens.) Toss in olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and a bit of lemon juice and grill under broiler on high or on outdoor grill until lightly charred, turning frequently. This process takes 10 minutes or less. Garnish with chopped lemon peel or whole lemon chopped with seeds removed plus maybe a bit of finely chopped garlic.