I don't feel the need to gussy up asparagus on the grill; just a little olive oil, salt, and pepper is all you need to make them delicious. But every once in a while, I have the desire to go all fancy-pants with these green spears of goodness, and one of those moments hit me this past weekend.
I really didn't do too much differently. Instead of salt, I wrapped each thick spear in a slice of prosciutto. Then after the asparagus came off the grill, I hit them with some lemon and lemon zest. These two simple variations lifted the asparagus from a common grilled veggie into the realm of greatness. The prosciutto, although slightly overpowering, delivered the salty with a nice touch of ham, and the lemon freshened it all up with a tang that lingered pleasantly on the tongue.
- 1 bunch of large asparagus, washed, tough ends snapped off
- 4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
- 1 lemon, zested and cut in half
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
Wrap each asparagus spear in 1 slice of prosciutto, or 1/2 a slice if the slices are large. Thread spears onto the skewers, with 1 skewer going through the bottom of the asparagus and the other going through the top. Drizzle olive oil over the skewered asparagus, and season with black pepper to taste.
Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread coals out evenly over the charcoal grate. Place lemons halves, cut side down, and the asparagus on the grill over high heat. Cook asparagus until tender and prosciutto crisps, about 3-5 minutes per side. Cook lemon halves until lightly browned, about 2-3 minutes.
Remove asparagus from the grill. Immediately squeeze the lemon halves over them, and sprinkle with lemon zest. Serve hot or at room temperature.