Pinning asparagus spears together with skewers makes them easier to flip and grill evenly on both sides.
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
Prepare grill to high heat.
Snap off tough ends of asparagus. Arrange 4 asparagus spears on a flat surface. Thread 2 (3-inch) skewers or toothpicks horizontally through spears 1 inch from each end to form a raft. Repeat procedure with remaining asparagus spears.
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.
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Recipes adapted from Steven Raichlen's books How to Grill (Workman, 2001) and BBQ USA (Workman, 2003)
My spring asparagus was skinny, so we cooked this on a grill pan instead of "rafts". Maybe my skewers were too fat, but the asparagus just split. That said, I did a trial run a week before Easter . It was so simple! We made a double batch for the extended family for Easter dinner. No leftovers with several requests for the recipe. This will go into the file!
I did not skewer these, but rather cut them up, tossed them in the sauce and grilled in a basket. I served them mixed with brown rice. It was ok but I've certainly had better asparagus simply roasted with Wegmans basting oil and salt & pepper, so I would probably not make this again.
I am learning to like asparagus and this was an excellent way to learn to love it. Easy to make, defintitely try to use the most tender part. I would make this again. I really don't see why you need to make it into a raft just use a grill pan.