Can you griddle asparagus? Griddling asparagus is not only possible, it’s the ideal way of maximizing their delicious flavor. Steaming or broiling can often result in flabby, insipid results; griddling, on the other hand, will cook asparagus quickly and evenly, delivering a gorgeous caramelized flavor and just the right amount of “crunch”.
As a result, griddled asparagus spears make the ideal “dunking” tool; try dipping a spear in a softly boiled egg yolk and you’ll never go back to toast again.
Not only does griddling improve the flavor of asparagus, it also preserves their nutrients: countless studies have shown that griddling vegetables results in the loss of fewer antioxidants than other cooking methods such as frying, microwaving or broiling.
Tip: The message is clear: if you want to enjoy the tastiest, healthiest asparagus possible, put your saucepan away and grab a griddle instead!
For the best results, start by preparing the asparagus as you would normally. No one wants a tough mouthful of stringy veg, so snap off the woody ends before you begin cooking (this is particularly important if the asparagus is on the “mature” side).
Pop the spears in a large bowl, and drizzle with a thin coating of oil (1-2 tablespoons per handful of asparagus should do the trick). Season with a generous sprinkling of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper before giving the bowl a little shake to ensure an even coating of dressing.
Toss the spears into a griddle that’s been pre-heated to a high temperature of around 400°F. Reduce to a medium heat of around 350°F and stir occasionally. Cook until the asparagus takes on a beautiful toasted appearance. Remove from the pan and enjoy!
Tip: For a quick, delicious dish, try serving the asparagus with a poached egg and a few slices of salty Parma ham…. heavenly!
One of the joys of cooking with a griddle is how quickly it delivers flawless results. Once you pop the asparagus spears into the pre-heated griddle, you’ll only have 6-8 minutes to wait until it’s time to tuck in!
Tip: Remember that young, tender stems will generally need less cooking time than older, tougher ones. Allow 3 minutes per side for young, slender stems and 4 minutes per side for older, thicker spears.
Cooking on an electric griddle guarantees flawless results, each and every time. The built-in electric heating element conducts heat evenly and quickly, delivering perfectly cooked asparagus with a mouth-watering, toasted flavor. Its flat surface, meanwhile, will make flipping the spears during cooking a breeze. As an added benefit, some electric griddles come with slotted pains, which will give the asparagus that glorious, chargrilled appearance we usually only get from a barbecue.
To use, preheat the griddle to 400°F. While it’s heating, toss the asparagus in a thin coating of oil and seasoning. Add the spears to the griddle, and immediately lower the temperature to 350°F. Once the spears start to caramelize on the side exposed to the heat, flip and cook for a further 3-4 minutes. Remove from the griddle and serve.
Tip: Always oil the asparagus, not the griddle. Pouring oil directly into the griddle can cause it to collect, resulting in a less flavorsome end result than you would otherwise enjoy.
Its hard to pick a favorite from all the gorgeous asparagus dishes out there, but if push comes to shove, this stunning, simple recipe for bacon wrapped asparagus skewers never fails to impress. As delicious on their own as they are dipped in a soft egg yolk, the skewers can be whipped up in minutes, making the perfect light lunch or starter course.
Cooking Time: 19 minutes
1 bundle of asparagus
1 pack of thick cut bacon
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup finely grated Parmesan
You will also need a pack of 14, 10- inch skewers. If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 10 minutes beforehand.
1) Prepare the asparagus spears by trimming off any woody ends before cutting in half width-wise
2) Preheat the skillet to a high temperature (around 400°F)
3) Slice each rasher of bacon into three even pieces
4) Wrap each asparagus half with bacon, and place face down on a flat work surface
5) Once all the asparagus pieces have been wrapped in bacon, thread 5 pieces through each skewer
6) Drizzle each skewer with an even coating of oil, before dousing liberally with Parmesan
7) Pop the skewers onto the skillet. Lower the temperature to 350°F and cook each side for 4-5 minutes (or until the bacon begins to color)
8) Serve and enjoy while still warm
Tip: if you need to prepare the skewers in batches, keep each batch warm by wrapping in a sheet of aluminum foil after cooking.
Whether you’re looking for a new dish to impress your dinner guests, or some suggestions for a light, summery lunch, you’re going to love this selection of fabulous asparagus recipes.
For a dish that’s bursting with spring flavors, try this foolproof, easy- peasy recipe. Ready in 15 minutes from start to finish, you can expect to serve 4-6 as a light accompaniment to a main meal.
750g (1½lb) asparagus
Large knob of butter
1 ripe lemon, halved
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to serve
1) Prepare the asparagus spears by snapping off any woody ends
2) Preheat the griddle to a high heat of around 400°F
3) Toss the asparagus onto the griddle, lower the temperature to a medium heat of around 350°F and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side (or until the spears are lightly toasted and tender)
4) Transfer the cooked asparagus to a serving platter. Add the knob of butter and toss before seasoning generously with salt and pepper
5) Just before serving, squeeze over both halves of the lemon
Tip: Test whether your griddle is hot enough to cook with by flicking a drop of oil or water on its surface. If it sizzles and immediately evaporates, it's ready.
If you’ve tried the simple version and are ready to take things to the next level, this recipe is sure to tantalize the taste buds of even the most discerning gourmet. Expect to dish up to 4 guests after 20 minutes of cooking time.
1 ripe lemon
S tablespoons olive oil
250g halloumi cheese
1 red chili, medium heat
Handful of mint leaves
Salt and pepper to season
1) Prepare the ingredients ready for cooking: trim the asparagus of any woody ends; cut the halloumi width-wise into 1cm slices; slice the chili into fine rounds; roughly chop the mint leaves; halve the lemon lengthwise and set ½ half aside. Finely slice the remaining half into half-moons, before tossing them with the halloumi and ½ tbsp. of olive oil
2) Heat the griddle to a high heat of around 400°F
3) Toss the asparagus in ½ tbsp oil and season with salt and pepper
4) Lay the spears into the griddle and lower the temperature to a medium heat of around 350°F
5) Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until charred and tender
6) Transfer to a serving platter and cover with a sheet of aluminum foil to keep warm
7) Add the sliced halloumi and lemons to the griddle, and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until lightly charred
8) Once cooked, add the lemons and halloumi to the platter of asparagus and scatter with the chili and mint leaves
9) Just before serving, squeeze over the remaining half of the lemon, drizzle with 1 tbsp oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper
Tip: You can check if your asparagus is cooked by lifting a spear from the griddle with a pair of tongs. If it bends slightly as you lift it, it’s done.
If you want to ward of vampires while still enjoying a delicious meal, try pairing tender young asparagus with a punchy, garlicky rouille… even Dracula might be tempted!
Cooking time: 50 minutes (including prep time)
For the Asparagus Salad:
40 spears of asparagus
4 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for brushing
800g large, raw prawns (thawed if frozen)
Handful of torn basil leaves
3 handfuls of young salad leaves
Salt and pepper for seasoning
For the Rouille:
1 fresh egg
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
A pinch of saffron
2 teaspoons of white wine vinegar
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
200ml mild olive oil or sunflower oil
1 garlic clove
Pinch of salt
You’ll also need:
16 short skewers (if using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 10 minutes beforehand)
A food processor
A pestle and mortar
Trim the asparagus spears
Lay out 4-5 spear in a row and thread onto 2 skewers. Repeat the process for the rest of the asparagus
Brush the asparagus rafts lightly with oil and season with salt and pepper
Peel the prawns and remove any intestines. Rinse in water and leave to dry on kitchen paper
Zest and juice the lemon
For the Rouille:
1) Add the egg, vinegar and mustard to the food processor. Pulse until smooth, then very slowly drizzle in the oil mixing constantly until the mixture thickens into a mayonnaise consistency
2) Grind the garlic, cayenne pepper, saffron and a pinch of salt with a pestle and mortar until it’s a smooth paste. Add to the mayonnaise and combine
For the Asparagus and Prawn Salad:
1) Preheat the griddle to a high temperature (around 400°F)
2) Add the asparagus spears in a single layer to the griddle, reduce the heat to a medium temperature of around 350°F and cook each side for around 3-4 minutes, or until lightly charred
3) Remove the asparagus from the griddle and set aside
4) Toss the prawn in 4 tablespoons oil and add to the griddle. Cook until evenly pink on both sides
5) Remove the prawns from the heat, and toss in a bowl with the lemon zest and juice
6) Divide the asparagus rafts between 8 dishes. Add the young salad leaves and spoon over the prawns. Scatter with basil to finish and serve with the rouille on the side
Tip: Don’t be tempted to use an Extra Virgin or Virgin olive oil in the rouille; its strong flavor will overwhelm the dish.
For a refreshing summer lunch, try this stunning asparagus salad; the marriage of strawberries and mozzarella is truly divine!
Cooking time: 12 minutes
For the Salad:
250g halved, hulled strawberries
120g drained mozzarella, roughly torn
2 handfuls of chopped mint leaves
Sea salt and ground black pepper for seasoning
3 handfuls of young salad leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil
For the Dressing:
2 tablespoons mild olive oil
1.5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1) Combine the dressing ingredients and whisk well. Set aside
2) Trim the asparagus spears
3) Preheat the griddle to a high temperature of around 400°F
4) Toss the asparagus in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of oil and season with salt and pepper
5) Lay the asparagus spears into the griddle in a single layer and lower the temperature to a medium heat (around 350°F). Cook for 3-4 minutes each side, until lightly chargrilled and just tender
6) While the asparagus cooks, assemble the salad by scattering the salad leaves with the strawberries and mozzarella
7) Add the asparagus spears to the salad (you can either add them straight from the pan or leave them to cool first)
8) Drizzle the salad with the dressing, scatter with mint, and serve
Tip: if you haven’t got any mint to hand, feel free to replace it with an equal quantity of basil leaves.
For a great vegetable side dish, you can’t go wrong with this simple recipe: the mellow acidity of the balsamic vinegar makes a great counterbalance to the earthy tones of the asparagus.
Cooking time: 20 minutes
1 tablespoon light olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1) Prepare the asparagus by breaking off any woody ends. Boil the spears in a large pan of water for 3 minutes
2) Drain the asparagus and plunge into ice cold water. Leave for 30 seconds, drain and pat dry with kitchen paper
3) Preheat the griddle to a high temperature (around 400°F)
4) Toss the asparagus in a bowl with the oil before adding to the griddle
5) Reduce to a medium heat (around 350°F) and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, until just tender and lightly toasted
6) Transfer the spears to a serving platter and drizzle with balsamic vinegar
7) Serve while still warm
Tip: Accompany with chunks of crusty bread for a light but satisfying lunch.