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THE CONFIDENT COOK

Recipe: Grilled asparagus with creamy garlic vinaigrette goes with everything from tofu to steak

Grilled Asparagus with Creamy Garlic Vinaigrette.
Grilled Asparagus with Creamy Garlic Vinaigrette.Karoline Boehm Goodnick

Serves 6

When asparagus comes into the market, cooks find ways to include it in every meal. Grilled asparagus pairs well with everything from tofu to steak. Add a creamy garlic vinaigrette for a zesty contrast to the smoky flavors and you have a dish for brunch, a picnic, or supper beside thin spaghetti. For the vinaigrette, whisk garlic, chives, and lemon rind with olive oil and red wine vinegar. Then, add a couple spoonfuls of sour cream. The mixture may appear curdled at first, but keep whisking and it should emulsify. If the dressing seems too stiff, simply whisk in a bit of water to thin it. Prep the asparagus by bending each spear near the woody root end where it breaks naturally. The grilling part takes minutes; you can't even walk away from the fire. Start with hot coals, and set the spears across the grill rack so none fall in (you can also use a grilling basket here). Keep your eye on the spears. Once the green stems are tender and beginning to char, they're done. This may only take a few minutes, depending on the temperature of the fire. They'll turn stringy if you overcook them. Arrange the spears on a platter, pour the vinaigrette on top, and garnish with scallions or spring onions.

VINAIGRETTE

1tablespoon red wine vinegar
2cloves garlic, grated
¼cup chopped fresh chives
Grated rind of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper, to taste
¼cup olive oil
2tablespoons sour cream
1tablespoon water, or more if needed

1. In a bowl, whisk together the red wine vinegar, garlic, chives, lemon rind, a generous pinch each of salt and pepper, and the olive oil.

2. Whisk in the sour cream until the mixture is blended and emulsified. If the dressing is too thick, whisk in enough water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to thin it slightly.

ASPARAGUS

Canola or vegetable oil (for the grill)
2bunches (about 2 pounds) fresh asparagus, ends trimmed
2tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 scallions or 1 spring onion, thinly sliced

1. Light a charcoal grill or turn a gas grill to high. Brush the grill rack to clean it. With a wadded paper towel, quickly brush the grill grates with oil.

2. In a large shallow bowl, toss the asparagus with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

3. Spread the asparagus in a single layer on the grill. Cover and grill for 5 to 7 minutes, turning as necessary and watching carefully so they don't burn, or until the spears are charred and tender.

4. Place the asparagus on a platter and spoon the vinaigrette on top. Garnish with scallions or spring onions.

Karoline Boehm Goodnick

Serves 6

When asparagus comes into the market, cooks find ways to include it in every meal. Grilled asparagus pairs well with everything from tofu to steak. Add a creamy garlic vinaigrette for a zesty contrast to the smoky flavors and you have a dish for brunch, a picnic, or supper beside thin spaghetti. For the vinaigrette, whisk garlic, chives, and lemon rind with olive oil and red wine vinegar. Then, add a couple spoonfuls of sour cream. The mixture may appear curdled at first, but keep whisking and it should emulsify. If the dressing seems too stiff, simply whisk in a bit of water to thin it. Prep the asparagus by bending each spear near the woody root end where it breaks naturally. The grilling part takes minutes; you can't even walk away from the fire. Start with hot coals, and set the spears across the grill rack so none fall in (you can also use a grilling basket here). Keep your eye on the spears. Once the green stems are tender and beginning to char, they're done. This may only take a few minutes, depending on the temperature of the fire. They'll turn stringy if you overcook them. Arrange the spears on a platter, pour the vinaigrette on top, and garnish with scallions or spring onions.

VINAIGRETTE

1tablespoon red wine vinegar
2cloves garlic, grated
¼cup chopped fresh chives
Grated rind of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper, to taste
¼cup olive oil
2tablespoons sour cream
1tablespoon water, or more if needed

1. In a bowl, whisk together the red wine vinegar, garlic, chives, lemon rind, a generous pinch each of salt and pepper, and the olive oil.

2. Whisk in the sour cream until the mixture is blended and emulsified. If the dressing is too thick, whisk in enough water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to thin it slightly.

ASPARAGUS

Canola or vegetable oil (for the grill)
2bunches (about 2 pounds) fresh asparagus, ends trimmed
2tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 scallions or 1 spring onion, thinly sliced

1. Light a charcoal grill or turn a gas grill to high. Brush the grill rack to clean it. With a wadded paper towel, quickly brush the grill grates with oil.

2. In a large shallow bowl, toss the asparagus with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

3. Spread the asparagus in a single layer on the grill. Cover and grill for 5 to 7 minutes, turning as necessary and watching carefully so they don't burn, or until the spears are charred and tender.

4. Place the asparagus on a platter and spoon the vinaigrette on top. Garnish with scallions or spring onions.Karoline Boehm Goodnick