Ingredients: This recipe can be made either on an indoor grill, if your stove has one, an outdoor grill, or in the oven at 475 degrees (yes, you read that right).
- Fresh asparagus
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt OR lemon pepper
Preheat your oven or fire up your grill. Wash your asparagus. (My friend Deloris recommends giving it a bath. She swears sand hides in the intricate part of the spearhead.) Holding each spear down a ways on the stem, try bending it. It should break naturally an inch or two from the bottom. That is the hard woody part that you will discard. Deloris brought over this beautiful head of purple asparagus. Tasty! I couldn’t really discern any difference, tastewise, between it and the standard variety, but it got points for being my favorite color.
Slather the asparagus with olive oil, then a liberal amount of either kosher salt or lemon pepper seasoning.
I read that it is best to cook asparagus standing up in order to get the bottom part, which is larger, done without overcooking the top part. While that may work best for boiling (ick!), I decided it could be done with grilling, too. I had some silicone ties that are made for grilling. I used that to bind each of the three upright stacks of asparagus and I grilled them standing up. I hedged my bets and placed the asparagus, unwrapped and spread out on a cookie sheet, in my oven after a while to finish them off, since my oven was already heated up to cook my chicken breasts. Since doing it this way, which was actually a bit of trouble, I have tried just baking it on the cookie sheet the entire time, leaving out the whole grilling upright thing. I am happy to report it works just fine.
Roasting the asparagus in the oven seemed to take between 10 and 15 minutes, depending upon the size of the spears and the desired degree of doneness. Try doing it five minutes at a time and peeking in between. Use your timer. (For some of you, I understand that means setting your smartphone to sound an alarm in 5 minutes. Whatever works for you.)
My friend CC is an experienced asparagus maker. She reports that it is also mighty tasty wrapped in bacon. What isn’t? I think it was my friend Barb who suggested wrapping it in prosciutto. I’ll have to try both.
One disappointment was that the purple asparagus did not retain its vibrant color after being cooked. It certainly tasted great, however.