[Photographs: Vicky Wasik]
Green vegetables like asparagus often end up overcooked on the grill, either flaccid or charred to a crisp. Grilling the spears hard and fast by placing them directly over a charcoal chimney starter keeps them green and tender-crisp, while giving them just the right amount of char. They pair perfectly with Green Goddess Dressing for dipping.
Why It Works
- Grilling asparagus over the intense high heat of a charcoal chimney starter allows you to cook vegetables in record time, preserving their natural crispness while also giving them plenty of char.
- Creamy green goddess dressing, packed with fresh herbs, makes a perfect dipping sauce for grilled asparagus.
- 1 pound (450g) asparagus, trimmed
- 2 teaspoons (10ml) vegetable oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup (120ml) Green Goddess Dressing
Light 1 chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, set a small wire rack on top of the chimney and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean (if necessary) and oil the wire rack.
Toss asparagus and oil in a large bowl until spears are evenly coated. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Working in batches, arrange asparagus on prepared wire rack, taking care not to overcrowd the rack and keeping the tips of the spears away from the direct heat of the coals. Cook until spears are charred on first side, 30 to 45 seconds for thin asparagus or 45 seconds to 1 minute for thicker ones. Flip asparagus and cook on second side until spears are charred and just tender, 30 to 45 seconds longer. Transfer to a serving platter and set aside.
Repeat grilling process with remaining asparagus. Serve immediately, passing green goddess dressing at the table.
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