Nothing says spring like fresh asparagus. Well, that is not quite true, there is also: pollen, hay fever, the first gnats of the year, and rain. However, there are few things I look forward to more than the price of asparagus dropping. Yes, I am still exaggerating, but it is a nice perk. Asparagus takes only a few minutes to prepare, dresses up a meal, and is easy on the waistline. Throw in that it is loaded with vitamins and you have a winner.
It is vital to thoroughly rinse your produce. Few things are as aggravating as expecting crisp tender and biting down on grit. Once the stalks are thoroughly rinsed trim off the woody ends. You may need to remove between one and two inches depending on how tall the stalks are.
Drizzle the asparagus with olive oil and toss with fresh ground pepper and kosher salt.
Grill over a medium hot flame. When grilling, whether on propane or over charcoal, use a “hand test” to determine the temperature. This does not mean touching the grate! Simply hold your open palm about an inch over the grate. A hot grill means you can only hold it there for a second, medium 3 – 4 seconds, and medium low you would be able to hang in for 5 – 7 seconds. The hand test does not mean you try to play hero, remove your hand from the heat the moment it becomes uncomfortable, it is just a general guideline.
Turn the asparagus frequently to prevent burning and remove from the heat as soon as the tips begin to char. You want the tiniest bit of charring for the most flavorful impact, too much and you might as well chew on the charcoal. The stalks will be a bright green and packed with flavor.