Smokey grilled asparagus
Asparagus BBQ'd in a smokey, spicy, and decadent glaze - this is asparagus with a difference.
Every time spring rolls around, Matt declares "I love the smell of asparagus season".
Stinky pee is not enough to deter this wee family from devouring our body weight in asparagus every year. It is just such a quick and easy vegetable side to a meal, and so versatile - you can grill it simply tossed in olive oil and sea salt and it is amazing. Try tossing it with toasted almonds, a dash of balsamic vinegar and a little maple syrup. Or serve it classic italian style with finely chopped capers, parsley, and crumbled hard boiled egg over the top.
But for something a bit more decadent (and without going through the fuss of making a hollandaise sauce a la my mother), I turn to this method of glazing the asparagus in a rich mayonnaise and smoked paprika marinade, then grilling over a high heat. The result is a smokey, delicious, and flavoursome side dish which will stand up to any BBQ meal.
While I usually go for the super thin asparagus for most dishes, here you want chunky and robust spears which will stand up to the high heat of a grill - long enough to get slightly charred on the outside, but still crisp and tender inside. Something about the size of your thumb will be perfect... though I guess that depends on the size of your thumb... so for the avoidance of doubt go for spears which are at least 1 1/2 cm thick.
If you don't have a charcoal grill you can definitely do this on your gas BBQ, or even a hot cast iron pan on the stove top. You just want something which will get really hot. But you can't really go past charcoal for imparting that smokey flavour - nothing quite lives up to it.