Serves 4 as an appetizer or side dish
It doesn't get much more springlike than a grill, a bunch of asparagus and a light lemony dressing. And this dressing is lemony: Add more olive oil if you wish to tone down the tartness.
A wide vegetable basket or mesh screen will be helpful.
Make ahead: The asparagus can be grilled several hours in advance, covered with plastic wrap and kept at room temperature. The dressing can be refrigerated for a day or two; leftovers can be used for a marinade or salad. Recipe from Jim Shahin.
1 pound asparagus, woody ends trimmed
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt
2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, or more as needed
Freshly ground black pepper
Prepare the grill for direct heat. If using a gas grill, preheat to medium-high (450 degrees). If using a charcoal grill, light the charcoal or wood briquettes; when the briquettes are ready, distribute them evenly under the cooking area. For a medium-hot fire, you should be able to hold your hand about 6 inches above the coals for 4 or 5 seconds. Have ready a spray water bottle for taming flames.
Lightly coat a large vegetable grill basket or fine-mesh grill screen with oil. Spread the asparagus in the basket or on the screen and grill, uncovered, for about 5 minutes or until charred on all sides yet still firm. Transfer to a platter. (At this point, the asparagus can be covered with plastic wrap and kept at room temperature for several hours.) Combine the lemon juice and salt in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in the 2 1/2 tablespoons of oil to form an emulsified dressing. Taste, and add more olive oil if desired.
When ready to serve, drizzle half of the dressing over the asparagus. Season with the pepper to taste. Toss to coat; serve at room temperature.
Per serving: 60 calories, 3 g protein, 5 g carb., 5 g fat (1 g sat. fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 120 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber, 2 g sugar