This quick and easy side dish of grilled marinated asparagus is boosted by the addition of an easy-to-make but delicious Italian gremolata. Gremolata is a traditional condiment for meat, poultry, and fish that only has three ingredients: fresh parsley, garlic, and lemon zest. A small amount of preserved lemon rind is used in this dish to add flavor.
Should asparagus be soaked before grilling?
While it is unnecessary to soak asparagus before grilling, some people choose to soak it for a short period to remove any dirt or debris that may be stuck to the stalks. To do so, place the asparagus in a bowl of cold water for no more than 15-20 minutes, then rinse them thoroughly under running water and pat them dry with a paper towel.
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Is it better to boil asparagus before grilling?
It is unnecessary to boil asparagus before grilling, as grilling on its own can cook it perfectly. However, if you prefer to boil asparagus before grilling, you can do so by blanching it in boiling water for approximately 1-2 minutes, then immediately transferring it to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.
This can help soften the asparagus and speed up the grilling process, but it can also cause it to lose some of its nutrients and flavor.
How do you clean asparagus before grilling?
To clean asparagus before grilling, start by gently rinsing the spears under cold running water to remove any dirt or debris. Then, snap off the woody ends by grabbing the bottom of the spear with one hand and bending the bottom until it snaps naturally. The tougher, fibrous ends should break off easily and can be discarded.
If the asparagus still seems sandy or gritty, you can soak them in cold water for a few minutes, swishing them around occasionally to dislodge any dirt. However, this step is often unnecessary, as gently rinsing them under cold water is usually enough to remove any grit or dirt.
What are the ingredients to make Grilled Marinated Asparagus with Gremolata?
This recipe has a prep time of 5 minutes with additional time to marinade, then a cook time of 6 to 8 minutes. Here are the ingredients which serve 4.
- Fresh asparagus – star of this recipe; make sure it’s clean.
- Extra virgin olive oil – contributes to the overall texture of the dish.
- Balsamic vinegar – a sweet and tangy addition.
- Mediterranean-spiced sea salt – the combination of spices in the salt brings a savory and slightly spicy flavor to the dish.
- Black pepper – add both heat and depth of flavor.
- Lemons – helps to tenderize the asparagus and gives it a bright, vibrant color.
- Parmesan cheese – this is optional for serving.
For the Gremolata:
- Fresh parsley leaves – add a fresh and herbaceous flavor to the dish.
- Organic lemon zest – add a bright, citrusy flavor and aroma to the dish.
- Preserved lemon rind – add a slightly sour flavor that compliments the other ingredients.
- Garlic – for a nutty and mild taste.
- Sea salt and black pepper – seasonings that most recipes call for.
How to make Grilled Marinated Asparagus with Gremolata?
It’s time to put this recipe together now that you’ve gathered all of your ingredients.
But before anything else, several stalks should be lined up side by side and held together by two pre-soaked wooden skewers to make turning simpler (also to stop asparagus from dropping through the grill grates).
Now start by placing asparagus in a wide, shallow bowl and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar—season with Mediterranean-spiced sea salt and black pepper to taste. Gently toss to combine and set aside for 15-20 minutes to marinade.
Meanwhile, prepare the gremolata by combining all the ingredients in a small bowl—season with salt and black pepper to taste, and set aside.
Spray nonstick cooking spray on the grill grates and heat the grill to medium-high. Grill the asparagus and lemon halves on each side for 3 to 4 minutes, or until crisp and tender, over direct heat.
Lastly, remove from the heat and transfer to a serving dish. Top with gremolata and serve immediately with grilled lemons for squeezing and shaved Parmesan cheese, if desired. Enjoy!
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- 1 lb. fresh asparagus, trimmed
- 1 T. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 T. balsamic vinegar
- 1½ t. Mediterranean-spiced sea salt*
- Black pepper, to taste
- 2 whole lemons, cut in half
- Shaved Parmesan cheese, to serve (optional)
- ¼ c. fresh parsley leaves, washed, dried thoroughly, and finely chopped
- 1 t. organic lemon zest
- 2 t. preserved lemon rind, rinsed and finely chopped
- 1 large clove garlic, grated
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- Place asparagus in a wide, shallow bowl and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Season with Mediterranean-spiced sea salt and black pepper, to taste. Gently toss to combine and set aside for 15-20 minutes to marinade.
- Prepare the gremolata by combining all ingredients is a small bowl. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and set aside.
- Spray grill grates with non-stick cooking spray and preheat grill to medium-high. Place asparagus and lemon halves over direct heat and grill for 3-4 minutes per side, or until they are crisp tender.
- Remove from heat and transfer to a serving dish. Top with gremolata and serve immediately with grilled lemons for squeezing and shaved Parmesan cheese, if desired. Enjoy!
Tip: For easier turning (and to prevent asparagus from falling through the grill grates), thread two pre-soaked wooden skewers through several spears lined up side by side to hold them together.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 181Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 718mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 4gSugar: 3gProtein: 11g
These nutritional calculations might not be accurate. Please speak with a licensed nutritionist to assist you.