March 04, 2014

When looking for a quick side for any meal, look no further than a a bunch of asparagus. Typically always sold in 1-pound bundles and ranging in size from skinnier than a pencil to as fat as your thumb, it is a great side you can savor any time of the year.

As the year begins to spring into spring and then lazes into summer, the grill slowly rotates into the front line of cooking and entertaining tools. Amongst the burgers, steaks, chicken breast and other wonderful grilled foods, the lowly asparagus deserves a place on you grill grates.

The reason I love grilled asparagus is because it is so easy and quick to make. Just after your grilled meats come off the grill and during their 10-minute resting period, that is the time to grill your asparagus. The timing works out great: Just as your meats are ready to be sliced and served up, your asparagus is beautifully charred and perfectly crisp-tender.

When I'm grilling asparagus, I keep it simple. Only 5 ingredients: asparagus, salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon. I'll trim the asparagus by holding the middle of the stem in one hand and the bottom end in the other, and then give it a slow bend until it snaps. After all the asparagus is trimmed up, I give them a little drizzle of olive oil and onto the grill they go.

TIP: Put the asparagus on the grill perpendicular to the grill grates, not parallel to them. I'll then grill them over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes or until charred on both sides. They will be soft but still have a little crunch. I'll cook them about 6 minutes if they are the thickness of my thumb.

TIP: When turning the asparagus on the grill, roll them instead of picking them up (you'll have less casualties). I pull them off the grill and give them a light squeeze of lemon on top.

For those who would like a recipe to go with it, this is a great one.

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