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Grilled Asparagus Rafts

Yield 4 servings (serving size: 1 asparagus raft)
This recipe is a nice twist on traditional grilled asparagus spears. Skewering groups of asparagus spears together makes them easier to flip on the grill. Sesame seeds lend additional crunch and a sprinkling of color to the dark green spears. The secret for cooking asparagus is simple: don't overcook it. The slender shoots should turn out crisp and bright in color.

Ingredients

  • 16 thick asparagus spears (about 1 pound)
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Dash of salt

How to Make It

  1. Prepare grill.

  2. Snap off tough ends of asparagus. Arrange 4 asparagus spears on a flat surface. Thread 2 (3-inch) skewers or wooden picks horizontally through spears 1 inch from each end to form a raft. Repeat procedure with remaining asparagus spears.

  3. Combine soy sauce, oil, and garlic; brush evenly over asparagus rafts. Grill 3 minutes on each side or until crisp-tender. Sprinkle evenly with sesame seeds, pepper, and salt.

Recipes adapted from Steven Raichlen's books How to Grill (Workman, 2001) and BBQ USA (Workman, 2003)