Griddled Asparagus

This isn’t much of a recipe, but it is a really useful technique to know about. It is asparagus season here in the UK, a time to make the most of. It’s the only time of year I will eat asparagus, as I prefer to eschew anything imported during the months it’s not in season at home.

Having the right techniques to hand when cooking vegetables really helps you to elevate the food you produce. Asparagus responds very well to high temperatures, charring the edges, which does just enough to cook each spear, as well as adding extra flavour. Asparagus needs to be tender to eat, but with some bite left. Like all green vegetables, boiling it in water often isn’t the best way of enhancing its flavour, and so this is my go-to way of cooking asparagus.

Heat a ridged griddle pan until it’s smoking hot. Prepare the asparagus by cutting off the woody ends (which can also be snapped off), put them in a bowl and drizzle them lightly with olive oil. Toss them around a little, to ensure each spear is lightly coated in oil. Then, set the asparagus spears onto the griddle, sprinkle with flaky sea salt and griddle for around five minutes, turning regularly, until charred and just tender. Serve with fresh lemon or perhaps a nice mayonnaise to dip in. Delicious on its own for the simplest meal, or as a side to all manner of accompaniments.

A griddle pan is an extremely useful piece of kit to have in the kitchen. I have a large, rectangular pan made by Le Creuset, which was a great investment, as I’ve used it so much. A hot barbecue or oven will make a good alternative, if needed. Aga users may have a grill tray, which also works well, but don’t close the door fully, to avoid the asparagus losing its bright colour.

Griddled Asparagus

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