During the summer between my junior and senior years of college, I worked as a live-in nanny for a family in New Jersey. Food-wise, it was a summer of firsts for me. I’d never been big on seafood (perhaps rightfully so, having grown up in the Midwest), but in those months living on the East Coast, I enjoyed trying scallops and various types of fish.
My seafood eating days were short lived, as I became a vegetarian and stopped eating meat and seafood entirely a few months into my senior year of college. However, not all was lost from that summer, food-inspiration-wise, as the family I worked for introduced me to the joy of broiled (or grilled) asparagus.
While enjoyable (if not overcooked), steamed or boiled asparagus doesn’t hold a candle to the broiled version. I’ve used this preparation for every single stalk of our delicious, if modest, asparagus harvest this year (minus those stalks nibbled raw). Sir usually devours his portion and begs for more from our plates.
Asparagus is in-season NOW, so head to the nearest farmers’ market this weekend, and enjoy some fresh, locally grown goodness!
5-8 asparagus spears per person
Pepper, garlic powder (optional)
Break off bottom half-inch of asparagus stalks and discard. Place clean, dry asparagus in a single layer on a broiler tray. Preheat broiler.
Brush asparagus stalks with generous olive oil, then sprinkle lightly with sea salt and other seasonings, if desired.
Cook under hot broiler for 10-12 minutes, stirring once to turn the stalks. Serve immediately.
Toaster oven vs. Oven vs. Grill
If you’re preparing 1-3 servings, a toaster oven is the perfect tool. It heats up quickly without heating the entire house. A counter-top grill functions similarly. For a larger crowd, fire up the broiler in your regular oven.
A hot grill produces a similar effect to the broiler, with the addition of a smoky flavor. We don’t use the grill all that often, and it’s not worth firing it up just to cook asparagus. If you’re grilling other food anyway, this is a great option — just toss the spears directly on the grill (perpendicular to the grates so the spears don’t fall into the fire).
Sometimes it is the easiest recipe that is the tastiest…especially when using fresh and local ingredients!
I LOVE broiled asparagus. I usually put parmesan cheese on mine though.
I tried to plant some asparagus roots this year, but they’ve been in the ground since March and still no signs of life. I wonder what I did wrong…
We’ve had problems with them just rotting and dying before. Frustrating when you don’t know it’s a problem until it’s too late to start more until next year. That said, if any local nurseries still have crowns, it may not be too late to plant them. Matthew just got some half-off and put them in to increase future harvests.