Combining seasonal produce with standard pantry items.
ASPARAGUS (Asparagus officinalis) is a staple in my kitchen. A perennial, it starts emerging from the ground in May and can be found at Farmer's Markets throughout May and June. I do not personally grow asparagus in my urban garden as it takes up quite a bit of room. I did however plant asparagus crowns at my allotment plot and will hopefully have a few spears to harvest next year. I enjoy it every spring by supporting local growers who sell their produce at the various farmer's markets around town, or by buying Ontario-labelled produce at the supermarket. Asparagus is available year round in Canada (but it is imported from countries like Mexico and Peru... so you can imagine the carbon footprint associated with them).
There are many varieties of asparagus, including green and purple. You may have also seen white asparagus (which is grown in the dark to prevent photosynthesis... making it typically more expensive and not widely available to the average consumer).
My favorite way of preparing asparagus is with maple syrup. This recipe is pretty forgiving, and affords you the luxury of making your own modifications. The maple syrup I use is aged in Whiskey barrels from Kinsip.
Grilled asparagus with herbs and maple syrup vinaigrette
- 1 lbs (½ kg) Asparagus
- 1 handful Fresh homegrown herbs if you don’t have homegrown, store bought is fine
- Cooking spray or vegetable oil for soiling grill pan
- 4 tablespoon (60ml) Extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoon (30 ml) Red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) Maple syrup I use a whisky barrel aged maple syrup from Prince Edward County, ON that is produced by Kinsip, a distillery
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Place all vinaigrette ingredients in a mason jar, close, and shake, shake, shake until you have an emulsified and smooth vinaigrette
- Clean and trim woody ends off asparagus spears
- Lightly coat a grill pan or outdoor grill with cooking spray or high-smoke point oil like Canola or vegetable oil
- Grill asparagus until tender and beautifully charred. Time will vary depending on grilling method. Trust your gut!
- Transfer asparagus to serving platter and drizzle the vinaigrette over the spears while still warm
- Garnish with fresh herbs (I like to use mint and chives, but you can use basil, cilantro, parsley… whatever you like really! Make it your own!)
- Enjoy while warm
If you tried this recipe out, let me know what you think! Check out my social media links at the bottom of the page.