Vegan Grilling season is here, and what better way to celebrate than with a vibrant and flavorful side dish? Get ready to tantalize your taste buds with this simple yet irresistible recipe for Easy Grilled Asparagus with Lemon and Garlic. In just a few steps, you’ll be able to transform fresh asparagus into a mouthwatering dish that is sure to impress your family and friends. So, fire up the grill, grab some asparagus, and let’s get cooking!
Ingredients & Substitutions
The star of the show is fresh and tender asparagus spears, providing a vibrant and nutritious base. Infuse richness by coating the asparagus with extra virgin olive oil, adding a delightful depth of flavor.
For a tangy and refreshing twist, use fresh lemon juice and zest, lending a zesty kick to the dish. If you’re not a fan of garlic, feel free to omit it or replace it with finely chopped shallots for a milder taste.
To balance out the tartness, add a touch of sweetness with agave syrup or honey, harmonizing all the flavors together. Enhance the natural taste of the asparagus and other ingredients with essential seasonings like salt and pepper.
Get creative and make simple substitutions based on your dietary preferences or what’s available in your kitchen, allowing you to put your own unique spin on this easy grilled asparagus recipe while maintaining its delightful essence.
- Grill: A reliable grill, whether gas or charcoal, is essential for achieving that irresistible smoky flavor and perfectly grilled asparagus. Make sure your grill is preheated to the recommended temperature for optimal results.
- Tongs: Long-handled tongs are ideal for flipping the asparagus on the grill without damaging the delicate spears. They provide a secure grip and allow for precise control during the cooking process.
- Basting Brush: A basting brush comes in handy for evenly coating the asparagus with the olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic mixture. It ensures that each spear is thoroughly seasoned and imparts flavor throughout.
- Skewers (optional): If you prefer, you can use skewers to thread the asparagus through the thick ends, making it easier to flip and preventing them from falling through the grill grates. This optional step can simplify the grilling process.
- Citrus Zester: A citrus zester or a fine grater is a fantastic tool for extracting the zest from the lemon. It allows you to add a burst of citrusy flavor without any bitter pith, enhancing the overall taste of the dish.
How to Make Grilled Asparagus
Begin by preheating the grill to high heat, around 375-400 degrees Fahrenheit. This ensures that it’s adequately heated for grilling the asparagus.
Next, wash the asparagus thoroughly and remove the woody ends by snapping them off. This technique allows you to discard the tough parts and keep the tender portion.
In a small bowl, combine extra virgin olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon juice, lemon zest, minced garlic, agave syrup or honey, salt, and pepper. Stir the mixture well to ensure the flavors are evenly blended.
Next, use a basting brush to generously coat the asparagus spears with the marinade. Make sure each spear is evenly coated for optimal flavor distribution.
If desired, skewer the asparagus through the thick end. This step makes flipping easier and prevents the spears from falling through the grill grates. However, it’s optional and can be skipped if preferred.
Finally, Place the asparagus on the preheated grill. Cook for approximately 7-10 minutes, flipping the spears halfway through the cooking process. Keep a close eye on them to prevent overcooking.
Once the asparagus is tender and slightly charred, remove it from the grill. For an extra touch of freshness, squeeze an additional bit of lemon juice over the grilled asparagus before serving.
Tips & Tricks
- Choose fresh asparagus: Look for vibrant green asparagus with firm stems and tight tips. Fresh asparagus will have a crisp texture and a sweeter flavor.
- Snap off the woody ends: To remove the tough woody ends, hold the asparagus spear towards the bottom and gently bend it until it naturally snaps. Discard the tough end and keep the tender portion for grilling.
- Preheat the grill properly: Ensure that your grill is adequately preheated before placing the asparagus on it. This helps in achieving those beautiful grill marks and locks in the flavors.
- Don’t overcook the asparagus: Keep a close eye on the asparagus while grilling to avoid overcooking. It should be tender with a slight char but still retain its bright green color and crispness.
- Serve immediately: Grilled asparagus is best enjoyed when served immediately. It retains its optimal texture and flavor when consumed right off the grill.
FAQ: Grilled Asparagus
While fresh asparagus is recommended for optimal taste and texture, you can use frozen asparagus if fresh is not available. Keep in mind that frozen asparagus may have a slightly different texture after grilling.
Absolutely! If you don’t have access to an outdoor grill, you can use a grill pan or a stovetop grill to cook the asparagus indoors. Simply follow the same instructions and adjust the cooking time accordingly.
The asparagus should be tender and slightly charred when it’s cooked. You can test it by inserting a fork or a sharp knife into the thickest part of the spear. It should easily go through without much resistance.
Absolutely! While extra virgin olive oil adds a distinct flavor, you can substitute it with other oils such as avocado oil or melted butter for a different taste.
While it’s best to enjoy the grilled asparagus immediately after cooking, you can reheat it if needed. However, keep in mind that reheating may slightly affect the texture and crispness of the asparagus.
Easy Grilled Asparagus With Lemon and Garlic
- Pre-heat the grill to high heat around 375-400 degrees.
- Wash asparagus, and remove the woody ends by snapping them off.
- In a small bowl, mix together olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, agave or honey, salt and pepper. Use a basting brush to brush the mixture evenly over the asparagus.
- Optional: Skewer the asparagus through the thick end. See image above. This will make flipping them easier and prevent them from falling through the grill grates.
- Place asparagus on the grill, and cook for 7-10 minutes, flipping halfway. Serve with an extra squeeze of lemon, and enjoy!
Easy Grilled Asparagus with Lemon and Garlic is a fantastic recipe that celebrates the natural flavors of fresh asparagus. With its vibrant colors, zesty marinade, and quick grilling process, this dish is a crowd-pleaser. Whether enjoyed as a side dish or incorporated into other recipes, the combination of tangy lemon, aromatic garlic, and smoky grilled asparagus is simply irresistible. So, fire up the grill, gather your ingredients, and savor the delightful simplicity of this easy grilled asparagus recipe. It’s a delicious way to elevate any meal!