Tag-Archive for ◊ asparagus ◊

28 Jun 2011 Grilled Vegetable Platter

I love veggies, as long as they are cooked.  If they are grilled, even better.  I started grilling veggies a few years back.  I just sliced and grilled.  Except for loosing a significant number of veggies through the grill, they worked out great.  I grilled carrots, zucchini, asparagus, onions and sweet potatoes.  Now I am working on fancier grilled veggies; a little marinade, a little glaze, grill marks…

Last week I received an email, “Top Ten Recipes of June 2011”.   This email came from Taste of Home magazine.  I am not a huge fan of Taste of Home, too many of their recipes start out with a mix, but I am a sucker for Top Ten lists. So I opened the email.  The picture of the  Grilled Vegetable Platter looked good, the recipe had five stars out of five stars with twelve reviews, so I clicked away.  The recipe sounded good and looked simple enough, so I tested it…, winner, Winner, WINNER!

Don’t feel like you have to stick to the veggie combo listed.  Grill what you have and what you like.  I left out all the bell peppers.  I. don’t. like. bell. peppers.  I didn’t add in any mushrooms because I just posted that fabulous recipe for Grilled PortobellosTaste of Home reviewers also reported adding green beans, snow peas, sweet potato rounds, and halved cherry tomatoes  into the mix.

My change to the Taste of Home recipe is to make two marinade mixtures.  Use one to marinate the veggies in prior to grilling (and then discard that marinade with the Ziploc bag), and then use the second one to drizzle over the veggies after grilling, the second marinade is just slightly different from the first. I also substituted freshly minced garlic for the garlic powder in the first marinade.

Now for my number one tip on grilled veggies… Grill the veggies first, before the meat or the fish.  Veggies are grill hogs, taking up an entire grill, and some of them take a surprisingly long time to grill, onions especially. The asparagus will cook most quickly, then the squash, then the carrots, and the onion will probably still be cooking when you start in on the meat.  Just remove each veggie when done and, when your veggie platter is mostly complete, drizzle with the second marinade, and place the whole platter in a warm oven.  Another reason for cooking the veggies first?  You can be in the middle of cooking them when  your guests arrive, and I haven’t met a guest yet who is not impressed by a grill covered in marinated mixed veggies, some with nice char marks!

Grilled Vegetable Platter

For the pre-grilling marinade

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

For the post-grilling drizzle

  • 2 Tablespoon olive oil (this is the time to use your best tasting/most expensive olive oil)
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 Tablespoon (which is equivalent to 1 1/2 teaspoons) Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Veggie Mix (mix it up to suit what you have on hand, what you like to eat, and how many people you are serving…keeping in mind grilled veggies make great leftovers and are almost as good eaten at room temperature as they are when they are eaten fresh from the grill)

  • 1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed
  • 3 small carrots, cut in half lengthwise
  • 3 small zucchini, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 large sweet red, yellow, or green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch strips
  • 2 medium yellow summer squash, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 sweet potato (I prefer Garnet Yams), peeled and cut into slices
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into four wedges (I used a sweet Vidalia onion)
  • other possible add ins or substitutions: mushrooms, halved tomatoes, green beans, snow peas…
  1. Combine the olive oil, honey, Balsamic vinegar, oregano and minced garlic or garlic powder for the marinade. Pour into a large resealable plastic bag; add the vegetables. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for 1-1/2 hours.
  2. Combine the ingredients for the drizzle; cover and set aside.
  3. Place vegetables on a grilling grid (I don’t do this…I place the veggies directly on the grill, and loose a fair number of asparagus spears, skinny carrots and zucchini).  Grill, covered, over medium heat for 4-6 minutes (adjust for each veggie) on each side or until crisp-tender. Note: The onion wedges will probably fall apart.  That’s OK.  Just grill the slices (the slices that don’t fall through the grill, that is).  As soon as each slice is nicely brown and feels soft, transfer to platter and drizzle with some of the second marinade mixture.
  4. Transfer to a large serving platter. Drizzle with the second “marinade” mixture.
  5. Serve, or if desired, place in warm oven (250 degrees) to stay warm until needed

So now you know what you will be grilling, what should you have for dessert?  S’mores (or S’mores Bars?), Frozen Bananas (always fun), or my personal favorites, Fresh Blueberry Pie or a Mixed Berry Pie?? Have some fun and search my recipes!

Outdoor grilling rocks! Hope you are enjoying both cooking and dining outside.  Next up, grilled artichokes! Thanks for stopping by my kitchen again today.  I love it when you pop in!


17 Oct 2010 Roasted Rosemary-Garlic Chicken with . . .

. . .  New Potatoes and Seared Asparagus Spears!

My friend John, the rugged he-man, Lake Superior Chef (of Asian Glazed Thigh fame), has submitted another recipe.   I am posting this now because it sounds like it’s just the thing for a Sunday supper.  Go now! Get a chicken! You can have this for dinner tonight!

John says: “I adapted the chicken and potato recipe from Williams-Sonoma.  The recipe for the asparagus spears is my own.  I like this recipe for a number of reasons…, you only have to use two pans and one bowl, your kitchen smells wonderful when you’re done, you can drink chardonnay while you cook and the recipe is so easy.”

Roasted Rosemary-Garlic Chicken

with New Potatoes and Seared Asparagus Spears


3 cloves garlic (diced)
2 sprigs fresh rosemary (rough chop)
1 roaster chicken (3 to 5 lbs)
1 ½ lbs small red potatoes, quartered
Olive oil
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Asparagus spears, washed and trimmed.

Directions For Cooking the Chicken and Potatoes:

Preheat oven to 400º.
Pour a glass of cool (not cold) chardonnay to enjoy while you cook.
Mix olive oil, garlic and rosemary in small bowl.
Coat chicken with olive oil mixture, reserving about ¼ of the mixture for the potatoes.
Place chicken in a large oven-proof fry pan, breast side up.  Tuck wings behind back, and tie the legs together.
In another bowl, stir together potatoes and remaining olive oil mixture.
Arrange the potatoes around the chicken, sprinkle both chicken and potatoes with salt and pepper, and transfer pan to oven.
Roast until instant read thermometer (inserted into thickest part of the breast, away from bone) registers 160º F, about 60 to 70 minutes.
Transfer chicken to carving board and cover loosely with foil.  Let rest for 10 minutes.

Directions for Roasting the Asparagus:

Rinse asparagus and pat dry.
Coat with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Heat ribbed skillet over high heat until “screaming hot”.
Sear asparagus, turning frequently.
Transfer skillet to oven (still hot from cooking the chicken) for five minutes.

To Serve:

Carve the chicken and serve with potatoes and asparagus.  Another  glass of chardonnay wouldn’t hurt either!

Now doesn’t that sound good?  I think a slice of the Chocolate-Pumpkin cake–I just posted the recipe–would round off this meal quite nicely!

06 Jun 2010 Pasta with Asparagus
 |  Category: Main Dish, Meatless, Pasta, Veggies  | Tags: ,  | Leave a Comment

My daughter Abby has been a successful member of Weight Watchers, on-and-off, for about 2 years now. When I found a Weight Watcher’s foodie blog recently, I sent the link to her. She immediately sent back that she wanted to make this. I was underwhelmed with her choice. The ingredient list didn’t add up to much for me. I was wrong. This is a knock out pasta dish; easy, quick and quite delicious. What more could you want? Ohhh…, Weight Watcher’s points! 4 points per serving. Oooops. This only served the two of us…, make that 8 points per serving…, but still yummy, still incredibly easy and fast to pull together. To serve four I would throw in some cubes of cooked chicken or beef, or even a few shrimp.

Abby moves into her own apartment in August. I am pulling together a cookbook for her. This one is going in it. I hope it becomes of one of her staples. Thanks Skinny Taste!

Pasta with Asparagus

1 lb asparagus, cut into 2″ pieces (tough ends discarded)
6 oz uncooked pasta (less than half a box)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

In a large pot boil 4 cups water with 1 T. salt. When boiling, add asparagus and cook 4 minutes, until tender crisp. Remove asparagus with slotted spoon to a dish and set aside. Remove 1/4 cup cooking water and set aside. Add more water to pan, return to a boil, and cook pasta in same water. Look on the box for the cooking time.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine egg yolk, cheese, salt, pepper, and 1/4 cup asparagus liquid. Set aside. In a large frying pan heat olive oil. Add garlic and cook until golden, add asparagus and sauté about 1-2 minutes, tossing with oil and garlic. Add in cooked pasta and egg mixture. Toss and stir well, cooing on medium-low for about 2 minutes, or until sauce thickens and sticks to pasta. Serve.

Optional-Stir in 1 cup cooked cubed chicken, beef, or shrimp when adding the cooked asparagus to the frying pan.

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1 1/4 cup • Points: 4 ww pts
Calories: 227.6 • Fat: 7.0 g • Protein: 5.4 g • Carb: 38.3 g • Fiber: 6.9 g

02 Feb 2010 Bacon Asparagus Rolls

I found this recipe on the Internet this morning. I ran out to buy some asparagus to try it…, then hemmed and hawed about posting the link, the recipe, and my pictures. I wasn’t sure the recipe was “all that”, so I kept tasting and trying to figure it out. Post? Don’t post? Bacon and Asparagus? Is that going to be a hit? Is this a GREAT recipe? Taste, think, taste some more, mmm, one more taste, maybe, let me try that again. It slowly dawned on me, I was positively addicted to these. I was guilty of over thinking the post!
This recipe is from Anamaris on her blog “Chef it Yourself“.

Bacon Asparagus Rolls

For each roll you’ll need:
1 slice of thick bacon (I used applewood smoked)
4 asparagus spears

Trim the bottom of the asparagus spears so all four are of equal length. Peel the lower part of the stem, optional, but no one is going to want to bite into a stringy piece of asparagus–use a potato peeler. Roll, yes, roll (with a rolling pin) the slice of bacon until it is at 50% – 75% longer than it was before you started. Gather the four asparagus spears together. Starting at the tip end, tightly wrap the bacon around all four spears. Season generously with freshly grated black pepper. Place bundle in frying pan. Cook over medium high heat, turning often, until bacon is well browned and crisp, and the asparagus is cooked. (See picture below.) Remove bundle from the pan, and slice into bite-sized pieces.(See picture above) Discard any bottom stems not covered with bacon. Each bundle will result in 3 or 4 bite-sized sushi-like pieces. Serve warm, but good at room temperature, too.

Thanks for coming by,