Monday, April 22, 2013

Toss asparagus, shrimp on the grill

Asparagus tastes like spring to me. I know that it's become a year-round vegetable, but the local shoots now appearing in markets really do taste best. I like to roast it, broil it, stir-fry it, add it to soups, scramble it with eggs ... just call me an asparagus addict.

Shrimp is a natural partner for asparagus. The flavors complement each other, and the contrasting colors make for a beautiful dish. For this dish, I cooked them separately on the grill in a perforated grill-wok, but you could stir-fry them instead. To serve, toss with pasta or spoon over rice.

Yield: 3 servings

1 pound shelled shrimp, thawed if frozen and patted dry
Olive oil
2 cloves garlic, forced through a press or minced
Coarsely ground black pepper
1 bunch thick asparagus (about 12)
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon chopped chives
Sea salt
Cooked angel hair pasta or thin spaghetti

Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill. In a bowl, toss shrimp with 1/2 tablespoon oil, garlic and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Set aside to marinate.

Snap the tough ends off the asparagus, then cut the stalks into 1-inch pieces.

Oil a grill wok. Place on grill; add asparagus. Cook, stirring every few minutes, until asparagus is crisp-tender, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Add shrimp to grill wok. Cook, stirring occasionally, until shrimp is cooked through. Transfer to the bowl of asparagus. Add 1 tablespoon oil, about 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice, lemon zest, chives and salt to taste. Toss to combine. Taste; add more oil, lemon juice or salt if desired.

To serve, toss with hot cooked pasta.

Note: To time your meal properly, start the pasta water just before marinating the shrimp. Add the pasta to the boiling water when the shrimp is done. If desired, for a more liquid sauce, reserve some of the pasta cooking water and add as needed.

Copyright 2013 by Judith Evans. All rights reserved.

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