Wondering how to grill asparagus without cursing up a storm as your spears fall through the grill rack? It’s easy once you know this trick.
Here’s how to grill asparagus without the spears slipping through the grill rack (and you getting in trouble for cursing up a storm in the moments that follow). This easy approach skewers several spears together into a raft of sorts which makes it easier to flip the asparagus and to ensure all the spears are evenly cooked until slightly charred on the outside and tender-but-still-firm on the inside. This method is so gosh darn reliable, folks are saying stuff like “Produces perfect, evenly cooked asparagus spears.” So there you have it. What are you waiting for? Originally published June 21, 2016.–Renee Schettler Rossi
Special Equipment: About 12 skewers (metal or bamboo)
How to Grill Asparagus
- Quick Glance
- 10 M
- 20 M
- Serves 4 to 6
- 2 bunches jumbo asparagus (2 lb)
- Fine sea salt
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges
- 1. Prepare a hot grill and oil the grill rack. Bring a large pot or wide saucepan of salted water to a boil. Fill a large bowl halfway with salted ice water.
- 2. Holding an asparagus spear in your hands, with one end in each hand, bend the spear until it snaps near the stem end. Toss the stem end in the compost and set the spear aside. Repeat with the remaining asparagus.
- 3. Toss all the spears in the boiling water for 1 minute and then, using tongs, plunge them in the ice water for 30 seconds. Drain and dry the asparagus. Place the spears flat on a cutting board and line up the tips. Meanwhile, if using bamboo skewers, place them in the hot blanching water for a few minutes to help prevent them from burning on the grill.
- 4. About 1 inch (2 1/2 cm) from the bottom of a spear, push a skewer perpendicular through the center of its spear. Pass the skewer through 5 more spears. Repeat this step with another skewer, pushing it through the 6 spears about 1 inch below their tips. You will end up with a raft of 6 spears connected by skewers at the top and bottom. Continue in this way to make the remaining rafts. Brush each asparagus raft with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper on both sides.
- 5. Grill the asparagus rafts until they’re slightly charred, 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Serve with the lemon wedges on the side for squeezing.
Grilled Asparagus With Sorrel Cream Variation
- Heat 1/2 cup (118 ml) heavy cream in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add 2 cups fresh sorrel leaves, thinly sliced into ribbons, along with 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a few turns of black pepper. Let the sorrel leaves wilt in the sauce for about 2 minutes. Spoon the sauce over the grilled asparagus.