OVEN-GRILLED ASPARAGUS

 

Asparagus is one of my favorite side dishes as it has so much flavor on it’s own, and it’s fast and easy to cook, making it a week-night staple in our routine.  Cooking your asparagus with a top-down heat will give them a super yummy flavor with a bit of a crispy texture – sure to please!

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PREP TIME:  5-7 min

COOK TIME:  5-7 min

SERVES:  4

INGREDIENTS

 

  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced

  • 3 Tbsp (45 ml) olive oil

  • ½ pound (225 g) asparagus spears, woody ends trimmed off

  • Salt and pepper to taste

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INSTRUCTIONS

 

1)  Set your broiler/oven grill to high (430F/220C) and place a baking sheet in the oven on the 2nd to highest rung (about 5 inches/13 cm from the heat source).

 

2)  Mix garlic and olive oil in a large bowl.

 

3)  Add asparagus spears and mix well to ensure they’re coated with the garlic and oil.

4)  Remove hot baking sheet from oven and immediately tip the asparagus spears onto it (the sizzling you hear is the sound of the asparagus getting a quick browning on the down side that hits the pan).

 

5)  Shake the pan so that the spears fall into a single layer as best they can.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

 

6)  Place under the broiler/grill for about 5-7 min, or until the spears soften and just start to brown.

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SERVE

 

Transfer to a platter or individual plates.

 

Pairs well with Dill & Honey-Dijon Salmon

Recepie & Photo Credits:  Cathy Menees

COOK'S NOTES

TRIMMING TECHNIQUE

 

Sometimes you can buy asparagus that is already trimmed, which cuts your prep time in half.  If not, no worries.  It’s only a 5-minute exercise at most.

 

The best way to trim asparagus is simply to hold one end in each hand and bend it gently until it breaks.  It naturally breaks at the point where the ‘woody’ part ends and the nice bit of the spear begins.  So you never need to worry that you broke of too little too much – the asparagus knows itself!

TERMINOLOGY

 

Europeans call the top burner in the oven a grill.  Americans call it a broiler.  Sigh.

 

METHODOLOGY

 

I love grilling them in the oven for 2 reasons 1) my hands can be free to do something else and 2) I like to get that browned, crispy char going that you don’t really achieve with roasting.  But that means you don’t get any heat underneath the pan - thus the reason I heat the pan in the oven first just to get a little sizzle going on the down-side of the asparagus

THICKNESS & TIMING

 

I prefer the very thin asparagus spears, but I know you can’t always find them. Thicker spears will take longer to cook, so just keep an eye on the timing.

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