Thursday, June 16, 2011

Balsamic-Marinated Grilled Asparagus

I'm happy that we had asparagus in our share again this week, because I was eager to make use of my newfound asparagus knowledge. Many thanks to my friend Jeanette at Off the Cuff Cooking for her recommendations about asparagus-trimming technique and asparagus marinades.

Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper

Remove rough ends from asparagus. To do this, grab tip and tail of each piece individually. Bend tip and tail gently toward each other until the rough end breaks off (it should break approximately 1/3 of the way up the stalk). Compost rough ends. Place trimmed asparagus in a container. I used a zip-top bag, but I cringe when I do that, because oil-coated bags are just not very reusable. However, they certainly are convenient for marinating! Anyway, add some oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper to the container, and toss the asparagus a bit so they get coated with the marinade. Let them marinate for a while, then put them on a hot grill (perpendicular to the slats so they don't fall through). Grill for about 5 minutes, rolling them over once during the grilling process.

These were flavorful and tender all the way through and so much better than last week's attempt. They absorbed the balsamic flavor nicely. However, I think they might do even better with a balsamic reduction that would stick to them better. And Steve thinks maybe we should add some herbs into the mix next time. He also said we should make sure to have crusty bread on hand to mop up the puddle of marinade that was left. At any rate, we all gobbled up our portions. I, unfortunately, didn't gobble mine as quickly as Steve did, so it was up to me to share when both of my children finished their own portions and asked for more. I felt almost like a mama bird confronted by two screeching, open-mouthed hatchlings. But I'm not going to discourage my children from asking for seconds on vegetables.

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