Everywhere I look right now there seems to be another asparagus recipe staring me in the face- they’re in season and every foodie magazine, blog post and website features a new twist on this popular vegetable. Here’s my go to favorite. I make this recipe all the time in the spring/summer when fresh asparagus is pretty cheap and plentiful. My parents drive by a local farm up north and drop off a 5 lb bag of freshly picked asparagus weekly. You can tell they are locally grown, they aren’t perfectly straight and you can see that they are hand picked, broken off at the stem. They are amazing any way you prepare them and there are dozens of fantastic recipes around right now, but this is hands down the simplest, fastest and delicious recipe I know. You will find this on my dinner table a couple of times a week these days and they are always gone in minutes, they literally taste like candy prepared this way.
Nut oils (here I use Hazelnut) pair particularly well with asparagus and bring out a nutty and creamy flavor. (Check out a past post I did on nut oils in my pantry). The sugar adds a bit of that caramelized hint of sweetness and the finishing salt adds a bit of salty crunch – simple perfection.
Hazelnut Oil Grilled Asparagus
1 pound fresh asparagus (I soak mine for about 15 minutes tip side down in my salad spinner – this always gets any dirt out)
2 tblsps roasted hazelnut oil
smidge salt and pepper
pinch demerara sugar ( I love Taiko brand)
pinch finishing coarse salt
1. Prep asparagus – soak in salad spinner point side down for atleast 15 mins, drain and snap tough ends off where they naturally break.
2. Heat grill.
3. Lay a single layer of asparagus in a serving dish.
4. Generously sprinkle with hazelnut oil and a little salt and pepper. Do not over salt as you will be adding finishing salt before serving.
5. Sprinkle lightly with sugar.
6. Place crosswise on grill, for approximately 15 minutes.
7. Remove once browned and a little crispy.
8. Top with a sprinkle of finishing salt and serve.
You can also broil these in your oven. Follow the same recipe but broil in an oven safe dish instead. To jazz them up, consider topping them off with a sprinkle of grated parm or crumbled bacon but I love them just plain like this.