Simple Grilled Asparagus

When tiny green asparagus tips start peeking through the ground, we say Colorado’s spring produce season has officially begun. Fresh asparagus offers a delicious crispness to complement any meal. When paired with some citrus flavors, you can really elevate the experience for your taste buds. This particular recipe also uses honey, a popular sweetener produced throughout Colorado. Check out your local honey supplier or support Colorado honey through your next grocery store purchase.

We can enjoy asparagus all year long, but it is at its most delicious and nutritious when in season. Native to the Eastern Mediterranean region, asparagus has been cultivated for at least 2,000 years. It is one of the few vegetables that is a perennial, which means that it does not need to be planted each year—the plants live around 15 years or more. Colorado has a thriving wild asparagus population, often a closely held secret for the asparagus pickers among us.

You will see farm raised asparagus from April to June at your local farmers markets, farm stands, and retail grocers. When buying asparagus, choose odorless stalks with dry, tight tips and avoid limp or wilted stalks. Asparagus is fat free, sodium free, a good source of vitamin C, high in folate, and a good source of vitamin A, according to Colorado State University Extension.

Find your closest local producer, farmers’ market, or local grocery retailer on ColoradoProud.com. In the meantime, try this delicious recipe from 5280 Culinary and if possible, make every ingredient a local or Colorado favorite!

Recipe from Chef Jason K. Morse, C.E.C., 5280 Culinary, LLC and Ace Hardware Grill Expert

 

Yield: 2-3 Servings | Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 Bunch (about 12oz.) Fresh Asparagus
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • Seasoning Blend, to taste (we suggest this salt-free Citrus and Herb Seasoning from High Plains Spice Company)
  • 2 Tbsp. Honey
  • 1 Lemon, cut into wedges

Directions

    1. Rinse and air dry asparagus and trim off woody stem ends. Place into a mixing bowl or baking dish then lightly coat with oil and season to taste with seasoning blend. Mix well to ensure asparagus are fully coated with the seasoning and oil and let sit for 10-15 minutes.
    2. Heat grill to medium to high heat. Use a perforated grilling pan and heat for 5 minutes before adding the asparagus.
    3. Lightly toss the asparagus again in the prep dish to coat once more then place the asparagus onto the heated grill pan in a shallow layer and close the grill lid. (Chef’s tip: don’t over fill the grill pan or they will steam instead of grill)
    4. Cook for 3 minutes and turn/toss the asparagus once to get more grill flavor on all sides, then cook for another 3 minutes.
    5. Lightly baste asparagus with melted honey and allow to glaze for 1 minute. Remove the pan using a towel and tongs. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon.

    For the perfect complementary wine with this dish, we suggest Snowy Peaks Muscat Blanc. This dry white has aromas of orange blossom and honeysuckle. Bright flavors of Meyer lemon, pear and mandarin orange make this wine great for a hot summer day. For a non-alcoholic option, check out the many flavor options of Mortal Kombucha based in Boulder!

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