In this simple and unusual first course or side dish, spears of asparagus and like-shaped scallions are grilled until caramel brown and then dressed in a mustard vinagrette.
Add quartered hard-cooked eggs to the platter along with grilled, garlicky bruschetta and you have lunch or a light supper.
1 bunch (about a pound) pencil-slim asparagus, trimmed of tough ends
2 to 3 bunches scallions, trimmed of roots and 1-1/2 inches of green tops
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Generous pinch sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons high-quality balsamic vinegar, or 1 tablespoon each minced onion and wine vinegar
2 tablespoons coarse mustard
3 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons minced chives
1. Gently combine the asparagus and scallions with the oil, salt, pepper, and sugar.
2. Prepare a charcoal grill for one-zone direct grilling or preheat a gas grill to high. When the grill is hot, spread out the asparagus and grill until browned and tender crisp, turning often, about 2 minutes. Remove to a serving platter, then grill the scallions the same way. Heap the scallions on the platter with the asparagus and spoon the dressing over the top.
Serve hot off the grill or at room temperature.
From A Summertime Grilling Guide by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift. Copyright © 2012 by American Public Media.
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