Asparagus has officially joined Brussels sprouts on the List Of Foods I Hated As A Little Kid And Vowed To Never Eat But Now Love! I have succumbed to asparagus’ deliciousness at the ripe old age of 20; little Eitan would be ashamed of me right now, but I’m never looking back!
When asparagus is cooked perfectly and garnished correctly, it is TRULY delicious. On its own, especially when it’s overcooked, asparagus is tough and boring. When it’s harvested at its peak season, in spring and early summer, it’s sweet and delightfully vegetal. I like to grill it on a ripping hot grill for that smoky flavor and beautiful grill marks. Be careful not to overcook it; that is asparagus in its worst, mushy, chewy form. Once it’s tender-crisp, I pile it onto a platter and top it with a super simple gremolata, a mixture of lemon, parsley, and garlic, and then drizzle it generously with a balsamic reduction. The gremolata is like edible confetti and balsamic vinegar is one of my favorite flavors of all time. (I collect it and have been known to say I would wear it as cologne if that were a socially acceptable option.) The bright gremolata and rich, tangy balsamic are the perfect accompaniments to elevate asparagus! If asparagus is a vegetable you’re sure you hate, I’m sure this recipe will change your mind.
Grilled Asparagus with Gremolata and Balsamic
- ½ cup parsley leaves, loosely packed, chopped
- 1 lemon, peeled, pith discarded and peel chopped
- 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
- ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 pounds asparagus, woody ends trimmed
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Add parsley, lemon zest and garlic to a cutting board and chop together until roughly combined. Transfer to a small mixing bowl and set aside.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, add balsamic vinegar and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 6-8 minutes, or until thick and reduced, but still pourable. Cover with a lid and set aside until ready to plate.
- Grease a grill pan with olive oil, add asparagus and season with salt. Cook for 5 minutes, then flip and cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until lightly charred in places, but still tender and slightly crisp.
- Transfer asparagus to a large serving platter and top with gremolata, balsamic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Serve immediately.