Why Not Grill Asparagus?

Esparragos a la Parilla (grill asparagus) (Andalusia) If you have a grill blazing away any of these summer weekends it seems a waste not to grill everything.  There are some foods you may not have thought of as suitable for the grill.  One of those foods is certainly asparagus. Espárragos a la parilla, asparagus on the grill, is a grilled asparagus that is a favorite in the rural areas of Andalusia in southern Spain where wild asparagus grows among wheat fields.  It makes sense, since you will have a grill going, to serve these asparagus with some simply grilled meat such as pork chops or lamb chops.  The variation below, which I don’t feel is necessary, is still quite good and is adapted from Elisabeth Luard’s The Flavors of Andalucia. Lastly, and of course obviously, be careful how you lay and turn the asparagus spears otherwise into the fire they will go.

Espárragos a la Parilla
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Grilled Vegetables
Cuisine: Andalusian
Serves: 4 to 6
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ pounds asparagus, trimmed of heavy stems and peeled
  • Extra-virgin olive oil to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • For the green sauce (optional)
  • Leaves from 8 parsley sprigs
  • Leaves from 2 tarragon sprigs
  • 3 scallions, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
Instructions
  1. Prepare a hot charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill for 15 minutes on high. Brush the asparagus with oil and salt lightly. Place on the grill until it blisters black on both sides, about 8 to 10 minutes in all, turning with tongs. Remove to an oval serving dish. Variation: To make a green herb sauce place the ingredients listed in a blender and blend until smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes.

 

Grilled Pork Chops with Juniper Berries

Grilled Pork Chop with Juniper Berry and Fennel Seed (CAWCOM) (4) In the summer I find myself grilling a lot more than in the winter which is true for those who don't live in sunny California too I imagine. I'm always interested in grilling new things or different things.  This recipe from the northeastern region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia region in Italy shows off the popularity of juniper berries in the local cooking.  In this preparation they give the thick juicy and succulent pork chops a nice rustic aroma and flavor.  Pork chops grilled with juniper and fennel was a favorite recipe of the great English food writer Elizabeth David.  I’ve adapted her recipe but kept the chops rustic and succulent.
Grilled Pork Chops with Juniper Berries
 
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The pork chops should be one-inch thick for the best result of juicy and succulent meat.
Author:
Recipe type: Grill
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, ground
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 10 dried juniper berries, ground
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 pork chops (about 2½ pounds), cut 1 inch thick
Instructions
  1. Stir together the mixture of olive oil, fennel seed, garlic, juniper berries, salt and pepper, to taste, in a ceramic or glass pan. Dip each side of the pork chop in this mixture and then leave to marinate in the refrigerator for 4 hours, turning several times.
  2. Prepare a charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill for 15 minutes on high.
  3. Remove the pork chops from the marinade and place with any marinade ingredients adhering to them on the grill. Cook, turning only once, until golden with black grid marks, about 7 minutes on each side. Serve hot.

 

Pasta and Shellfish Scream Summer Is Here

Linguine with Squid and Clams (CAWCOM) (4)

Maybe it’s the fact that when I summered in Wellfleet on Cape Cod or spent my teenage years on Long Island we ate tons of shellfish and I came to associate linguine and shellfish with summer.  I have a zillion versions of this classic linguine in … [Continue reading]

Easy Summer Party Appetizers Are Canapes

Canape of Salmon Caviar (1)

The canape is such a perfect solution to party food appetizers and yet too often entertainers drop a bag of chips in a bowl instead. I wrote about canapes for New Year's Eve and thought it was time to revisit the topic for the summer.  Canapes are … [Continue reading]

Fire, Fish And Fresh Herbs For Divine Summer Dining

Grilled Swordfish in Fresh Orange Juice and Thyme (CAWCOM) (2)

The summer grill party is one of the most beloved of summer gastronomic experiences. On the Fourth of July we fire up the grill, people gather round impatiently, and on go the hamburgers, the hot dogs, the pork spareribs, the chicken breasts, the … [Continue reading]

Summer Grilling That Filet Mignon with Bacon

Grilled Filet Mignon with Bacon and Rosemary (CAWCOM) (5)

Summer is about to be upon us and that means grilling is the dominant form of cooking.  I like to grill everything but sometimes I just want to keep it simple. A simple meat to grill, although expensive, is filet mignon. Now and then I find a whole … [Continue reading]

Valencia’s Arros a Banda – Paella’s Cousin

Arroz a Banda (Valencia) (2)

Arròs a banda is a very old preparation from Valencia and really quite simple. Traditionally, arròs a banda was made on the small cabotatge, the coast runners that ran from north to south along the Levante, the Valencian coast. The boatmen would eat … [Continue reading]

Spring is for Snap Peas–in an Italian Style

Snap Peas with Pancetta and Tomatoes (CAWCOM) (4)

In Italian this preparation is called mangiatutto con pancetta e pomodoro which are snap peas cooked with pancetta and tomatoes.  This recipe is a specialty of the area around Rome and to the south in the region of Lazio where in the springtime new … [Continue reading]

Sicilian Frittedda: A Riot of Tender Spring Flavors

Fritedda (Sicily) (5)

In the springtime in Sicily a simply named dish reveals an explosion of flavor that belies its satisfying complexity. It is a dish special with spring vegetables — fava, peas, scallions and artichokes — and called frittedda (or fritedda). In … [Continue reading]

Time Traveler’s Primer on Modern Coffee Shops

Coffee-siphon (2)

Once upon a time one had their coffee in a coffee shop. A waitress, perhaps calling you hon, would arrive at your table within seconds of your sitting with a pot of coffee in one hand and ask “coffee?” There were two choices: black coffee was black. … [Continue reading]

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