Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Dear Asparagus, I Heart You

My significant other and I have been staying at his parents while some stuff is being done at our apartment. His dad does a lot of (excellent) cooking, so I haven't been doing much myself, besides a few odds and ends. I am guilty though of being a midnight snacker, and sometimes the things I want aren't really snack like. Asparagus would be one of those things.

I want to eat asparagus all the time these days. It was only recently that I decided I didn't hate this weird green vegetable. Now, I feel like I need to make up for lost time and consume all the asparagus I was missing out on the last 24 years or so. However, there are only two cooking methods I consider acceptable for cooking asparagus:

1. Grilling
2. Roasting/Broiling

The first is my preferred method. Grilled asparagus just has a taste and texture so good, it makes you want to punch other vegetables in their hyperbolic faces. It gets tender, and yet stays crisp at the same time. The heads get all toasty and delicious and crunchy...and now I want some asparagus! Damnit. However, I'd like to note that any cooking method that stands to turn the asparagus all soft and mushy is unacceptable. So boiling is out. So is using canned asparagus. Steaming or pan frying might be okay, if done right. Still, nothing beats the taste of the grill.

This is how I prepare my asparagus prior to grilling:

Wash the asparagus, and chop off any extra bits at the bottom of the stalks. If it's not green, you probably don't want it. After the asparagus is nice and clean, toss it with some olive oil and kosher sea salt, a sprinkle of garlic powder, and some fresh grated Parmesan cheese. Let it sit and absorb all the goodness for about 15-20 minutes before throwing it on the grill or in the oven. Cooking times will vary based on the heat of your grill or oven and the size of the asparagus, but rule of thumb I'd say no more than 10 minutes at high heat. Allow the asparagus to cool (or don't, if you're impatient like me), sprinkle a little more of that fresh Parm on it, and then have a mouthgasm.

For all you asparagus haters...just trust me on this one. I HATED asparagus, until I tried it grilled. Give it a shot. It's so worth the funny smelling pee!

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