Spring is the perfect time of year to serve fresh asparagus and one great method for cooking is an indoor grill pan. I generally prefer the thin stalks for steaming and fat stalks for grilling, but use whatever you want – fat, thin, green or white. Look for bunches with tightly closed tips and no flowering, a nice dark green or purple tinge on the tips is a good indication of quality. If the tips are yellowish or dried out, the asparagus is too old. Delicious asparagus depends on freshness and proper preparation. Pan grilling gives you slightly charred stalks with delicious brown spots that you get from roasting or barbecuing without having to heat up your oven or grill. The lemon vinaigrette enhances the dish perfectly and adds to the bright fresh flavor of the asparagus.
2 pounds asparagus spears (2 bunches), tough ends trimmed
1-2 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt and pepper to taste
1 large shallot , minced (about 2 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and ground black pepper
1. Warm a grill pan over medium-high heat (4-5 minutes).
2. Wash and trim the ends of the asparagus, dry with paper towels.
3. Toss the asparagus lightly with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
4. Grill asparagus 5 minutes, then flip and grill until slightly blackened on both sides, about 4 minutes more. Transfer the asparagus to a serving platter.
5. Whisk shallot, lemon juice and zest, thyme, mustard, and olive oil in small bowl (or shake well in jar with tight lid); season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle over asparagus and serve immediately.