Asparagus like most fresh fruits or vegetables, begins to lose its natural sugars immediately when it is harvested. This loss is rapid, and unless used very soon after it is picked it becomes less flavorful and sometimes even bitter. There is a method to amend this, and it is very simple.....
The bottom portions of larger asparagus spears can be chewy and woody; they need to be snapped off. To snap off the tough portion, simply grasp the stalk with both hands and bend the bottom portion until it breaks off. The asparagus will naturally break off at the point where the tender portion ends and the tough, stringy part begins. Put the top halves in a bowl containing about two to three cups of cold water with 1/4 cup or less of sugar. That’s right, sugar! What you want is “sweet water”. Allow the spears to soak in this solution no less than one hour and as long as 48 hours. This helps replace the natural sweetness it has lost in being harvested, packed, shipped and placed on your vendor’s shelf for the last day or seven. Trust me on this, you will notice a BIG difference!
Are you ready to cook? I have given you a few ways to cook asparagus, asparagus fries are tasty as a appetizer course. Or, Asparagus with Pineapple buerre blanc as a side dish or first course is one of my favorites. My latest asparagus blog featured a figure friendly sauce, Asparagus with lemon yogurt sauce......YUM! Today I am giving you two new ways, both grilled! With Summer around the corner this is just perfect! It is never to early to start planning the July 4th barbeque!!
Grilled Parmesan Asparagus
3 cups cold water
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1 bunch asparagus
2 to 3 T olive oil
Good season's Italian dry salad seasoning mix
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Place the water and sugar in a large mixing bowl and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside. Snap off the tough ends of all the asparagus spears, discard the tough ends, and place the tender tops in the sweetened water. Let the asparagus soak for at least 1 hour and up to 48 hours.
Preheat your outdoor grill or barbecue on High for 15 minutes. If you are using a charcoal grill, build a medium-hot fire and bank the coals to one side of the grill.
While the grill is preheating, remove the asparagus from the water bath and pat dry. Drizzle the spears with the olive oil, and using your hands, make sure all surfaces are coated.
Sprinkle them lightly with the Good Seasons dry salad dressing, turning so all surfaces get seasoned. Place them on the hot grill, laying them facing perpendicular to the grates.
Cook, turning when they have grill marks, until tender with a little crunch, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Taste one to judge doneness. Remove from the grill, transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle the Parmesan over the top and serve.
You can use the same preparation and saute or even roast them. Just remember, cook them hot, and cook them fast!
Grilled Bacon wrapped Asparagus Bundles
- 15 stalks of asparagus
- 2 tablespoons light olive oil
- 3 strips of bacon, slice in half length-wise
- Snap off tuff ends of asparagus
- Put in bowl with water and sugar (as above)
- Drizzle the olive oil over the asparagus and toss to coat.
- Wrap 5 stalks with a strip of bacon like a corkscrew. You can secure the bacon on each end with a toothpick (soak the toothpicks in water for 10 minutes BEFORE grilling).
- Grill for about 5 minutes on each side.
|Save time by grilling other parts of your meal. I had my filets on the sear burner while my asparagus grilled on the grill portion of our barbeque. Just look at Wee Bears happy face!|