Now that it is spring or almost spring, I am taking full advantage of all the beautiful produce that’s starting to pop up in the grocery store and my garden. My asparagus plants are just popping out from the ground, after a long cold winter. It is fascinating to see the first buds pop out of the earth. (I will share with another post on how to grow asparagus).
I look forward to asparagus more than almost any other veggie and cook with it at least once a week in the spring. Usually in my menu planning grilling if my first choice. I think this preparation brings out the best flavor. No matter what we’re eating for dinner, chances are I’m serving it with some grilled or roasted vegetable.
Sharing a simple recipe is fun. With this combination, the mint dressing and goat cheese make this special. The snapped asparagus coated in a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, and balsamic, grilled, then topped with more of the mint-sherry vinaigrette and crumbled goat cheese. The mild and creamy goat cheese mellows out the assertive flavors of the mint and lemon, and the crisp-tender asparagus has a nice smoky flavor thanks to the grill.
The asparagus is a quick and easy side, but it’s elegant enough to serve to company. I also think it would make a great addition to your Easter or any springtime menu.
Balsamic Grilled Asparagus topped with Black Pepper Goat Cheese and Mint Sherry Vinaigrette
- 1/4 C. Balsamic Vinegar
- Juice from 1 Lemon
- 3/4 C. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Kosher Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper - to taste
- Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
- 2 Lbs. Fresh Asparagus - snapped and trimmed of tough ends
- 2 T. Sherry Vinegar
- 2 t. Dijon Mustard
- 1/4 t. Kosher Salt
- 1/4 t. Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 1/2 C. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 t. Shallot - finely minced
- 2 T. Fresh Chervil – chopped if not available, substitute Italian Parsley
- 2 T. Fresh Mint - chopped
- 2 Roma Tomatoes - seeded and cut into a small dice
- 6 oz. Fresh Pepper Chevre goat cheese - crumbled
Prepare the grill. In a medium bowl, place the vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper. Whisk together. Add the snapped asparagus and coat evenly. Grill on high heat for 2-3 minutes or to desired tenderness. Then remove the asparagus from the grill, and place on a platter.
In a small bowl combine the vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper. Add the oil, shallots, and chervil or parsley and mint and whisk until the ingredients become emulsified. Sprinkle the goat cheese over a platter of lightly grilled asparagus and then drizzle with some of the vinaigrette and garnish with the remaining chervil or parsley and the diced tomatoes. Serve immediately – passing the remaining vinaigrette, if needed.
Serves: 4 to 6