Asparagus may be an acquired taste, but grilling the asparagus has made asparagus eaters out of our family. This recipe for grilling asparagus is simple and has excellent flavor. The recipe comes from Adam Perry Lang’s book, Serious Barbecue, page 320. One of the important tricks is oil the grates as well as the asparagus and to use a grill press to keep the asparagus flat against the grates. High heat for a short period of time seems to work best.
¼ cup sherry vinegar
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp thinly sliced shallots
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup canola or vegetable oil
2 Tbsp finely chopped chives
2 bunches pencil asparagus, about 1½ lb. total
¼ to ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon, halved
Finely ground fresh black pepper
¼ cup fresh tarragon leaves
Fleur de sel
2 lemons, each cut into 6 to 8 wedges
1. Preheat all grates of a well-oiled charcoal or gas grill to high.
2. In a small bowl, or in the container of a blender, stir together the vinegar, mustard, shallots, salt and pepper and let sit at room temperature to allow 10 minutes for the flavors to develop.
Using an immersion/stick blender or a traditional blender, blend the ingredients and slowly add the oils to emulsify. Set aside.
3. Cut off the tough ends of the asparagus, about 1 inch from each piece.
Toss the asparagus with enough oil to coat, and squeeze the lemon juice over the top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
4. Grill, rolling the pieces to char moderately on all sides, about 8 minutes, depending on the thickness of the asparagus.
To keep the asparagus in contact with the grate, use a grill press or a firebrick.
5. Transfer to a large bowl or long baking dish, and while still hot, toss with about three-quarters of the tarragon and season with the fleur de sel and pepper. Add enough vinaigrette to coat and toss again.
Transfer the asparagus to a serving dish and sprinkle with the remaining tarragon leaves. Serve any remaining vinaigrette and lemon wedges on the side.