I ... adore ... asparagus. I could eat it everyday so when I saw a recipe on Rachelray.com (called "Sugar-Grilled Asparagus") I got the idea for this wonderful side dish. I say that I got the "idea" for this recipe because I had to make so many changes due to what I had on hand and personal preference. :) I'm happy to say that the changes were worth it. This is definitely a keeper!
Originally, the recipe was provided by Rory Schepisi on Ray's site but I made my own changes for numerous reasons. Rory said to have 1/4 cup olive oil and 1/2 cup of sugar. That seemed like waaaay too much of both so I cut those amounts in half. I also used grapeseed oil instead of the olive oil since I had it on hand and it's become one of my favourite oils to use. Also, I didn't have an orange handy (the zest the original recipe called for) but I did have a fresh lemon handy so that's what I used.
Well, I LOVED this side dish. De-lish! I could have gobbled down the whole thing myself. My kids weren't big on it (they apparently didn't get the asparagus gene from Mom but I wasn't too concerned because I got to nibble on the spears they didn't eat). :)
The sweetness from the sugar combined with the tang from the fresh lemon zest .... mmm, mmm, good! Next time I'll try using the zest from an orange and see how it pans out. I'll also try to snap a picture of this dish ... I was much too eager to try this dish out. Snapping a picture just wasn't on the agenda tonight! :)
Sweet Citrus Grilled Asparagus
Yield: 3 servings
1 bundle of asparagus (about 20 spears)
1/8 cup olive oil
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
Zest 1/2 lemon
Preheat BBQ to medium-high heat.
Break the tough ends of the asparagus off. Pour oil in a shallow dish. Combine sugar and salt in another shallow dish. Roll the asparagus in the oil, then roll in sugar and salt mixture. Place asparagus on grill and cook for 10-15 minutes. Turn asparagus to ensure even cooking. You know the asparagus is done when the sugar has caramelized and the asparagus is starting to look burnt. Sprinkle lemon zest over asparagus right before serving.
Alternative Cooking Method: Roast in the oven for approximately 15-20 minutes at 350F, turning once.