Grilled Sesame Asparagus is perfect for spring when fresh, local, asparagus are abundant. Quick, easy, and fresh, here's a vegetable you will want to eat.
The story behind Grilled Sesame Asparagus
I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Vegetables are often the "forgotten" food on the plate, put there only because mama told us to eat them. Now the American Heart Association and Food Pyramid have followed mom's advice, and they tell us to eat our veggies too. But the veggie doesn't have to be an overcooked tasteless addition to the plate or covered in fattening sauces. It can be a perfect compliment, just like these Grilled Sesame Asparaguses, perfect with Beef Short-Ribs Aloha Style or any other Asian style meal.
How to not toast Sesame Seeds
Toasting sesame seeds can be a bit of work as those suckers can burn, quickly.
And burned nuts are not good nuts. So I have found that the easiest, simplest, most non-stressful way to toast sesame seeds is to buy them ... already toasted.
And I love no-stress, don't you?
When I was at the Food and Wine Classic in Aspen, many of the chefs advocated for pre-cooked beans and pre-roasted nuts. Why, they asked, spend the time and the tedious attention needed to get these items perfect, when there were people who would do it for you? Spend your time on the more important parts of the meal.
You can find already toasted sesame seeds in most supermarkets or on Amazon.com. And they are not that much more than the "raw" product, and overall, you will more than likely save money by not having to throw away the burnt offerings.
How to toast seasme seeds (if you must)
But if you have to toast your own seeds, do it in a small skillet, on the top of the stove, over medium-low heat stirring them constantly until they are toasted. Do not turn your back or they will, more than likely, burn.
Grilled Sesame Asparagus is perfect for spring when fresh, local, asparagus are abundant. I like to use asparagus with thick stems, which I peel with a vegetable peeler, as much for the presentation as for making them super tender. Cook them to your desired degree of doneness, I like mine to still have a little crunch so only for about 5 - 7 minutes, but it's up to you. You will know they are done when you can stick a knife easily through the thickest part.
I made these in my grill pan, but you could put them on the grill as well, or even under the broiler.
Grilled Sesame Asparagus
- 1 pound fresh asparagus if buying thick stemmed ones, I use a vegetable peeler to take off the bottom ½ of each for a more tender stalk tough end discarded
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 - 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 - 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Step 1Clean your AsparagusRinse the asparagus under cold running water and pat dry. If desired, peel the bottom of the asparagus with a vegetable peeler. Remove the tough end. To find this, hold the asparagus about midway between the tip and the bottom and bend, the asparagus should break where the tender top meets the more fibrous bottom. Trim with a knife if you like a neat bottom.
- Step 2Place the asparagus stalks into a zip-top bag, add the oil along with salt and pepper to taste. Shake to mix well.
- Heat your grill pan, grill, or broiler to high heat. If using the broiler, put the asparagus on a cooking sheet; otherwise, just place the asparagus onto the grill pan or grill. Grill, turning often (broiler, shake the pan once or twice while under the heat) until the asparagus are beginning to brown and become tender, 5 - 7 minutes for crisp-tender. Add the sesame seeds and toss well. Serve hot or at room temperature.