Asparagus means spring – those tall green shoots mean that our long, long winter is over. 1
Grilling means spring – I can go outside without boots, a parka, and a snow shovel to clean the deck.
It’s no a coincidence that asparagus is my favorite vegetable to grill. I love to get out there, fire up the grill, and feel the warm spring sun on my face. See the green grass, watch the trees bloom, feel the pitter-patter of the raindrops…darn it, I forgot about spring showers. Oh, well, at least it’s not snowing.2
I’ve been playing with Weber’s Elevations system. The vegetable basket is a useful gadget. It lifts out of the bracket that plugs into the Elevations grid, so I can use it as a traditional grill basket to start, then set it in the bracket to finish the asparagus with indirect roasting.
The basket holds the asparagus together – hooray, no more losing spears through the grill grates! It also makes it easy to move the asparagus from direct heat to indirect heat. Direct heat gives the asparagus a sear, so everyone knows it was grilled; indirect heat finishes the asparagus gently, giving thick asparagus spears time to cook through without burning.
Don’t just cook the main course on the grill. Impress your guests and grill the the vegetable side as well.
Recipe: Grill Roasted Asparagus
Grill Roasted Asparagus
- Grill (I love my Weber Summit)
- Vegetable Basket (I use the Weber Elevations basket)
- Weber Elevations System (Optional, but convenient if you have a gas grill)
- 1 pound asparagus, tough stalks trimmed
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1. Set the grill up for indirect medium heat
Preheat the grill, and set it up for indirect medium heat (350°F). On my Weber Summit, I preheat the grill with all burners set to high for 15 minutes, brush the grill grate clean, then I turn all the burners off except for the two outer burners (burners #1 and #6), which I turn to medium. This gives me a two zone fire – direct medium heat over burners 1 and 6, and indirect medium heat over burners 2–4. (The Elevations bracket goes in the middle of the grill, in the indirect heat section of the grill.)
2. Season the asparagus
Put the asparagus in the vegetable basket, sprinkle with the salt and pepper, drizzle with the vegetable oil, then toss to coat.
3. Grill the asparagus
Put the basket with the asparagus directly over the fire and cook the asparagus, turning and tossing it in the pan every couple of minutes, until the asparagus is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Move the grill pan to the indirect heat part of the grill (I use the Elevations system for this), and cook the asparagus with the lid closed until they turn olive green and are cooked all the way through, about 15 minutes. (I test by biting into one of the thickest spears – if it’s tender, the asparagus is done.)
- No Elevations system? No worries. Use any grill basket. I like the Elevations system because it gives me more indirect heating space on the grill by adding extra levels I can use. I was cooking chicken wings as our main course, so the extra space was a lot of help.