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Grilled Asparagus & Portobello Caps

Early Summer 2015
201503019.jpg
food and drink

BY: Signe Langford

With salty, sweet, sour and umami in perfect balance, this combination of early summer’s favourite veggie—asparagus—and summer’s favourite way to cook—grilling—will be a real hit.

20 fresh asparagus spears, washed, tough ends trimmed
3 tbsp (45 mL) olive oil, divided
Sea salt and pepper
4 portobello caps, stems removed
1 to 11/2 cups (250 to 375 mL) baby arugula
Honey-Balsamic Reduction (recipe follows) to taste
Shaved fresh Parmesan or Pecorino Pepato, to taste

1 Preheat grill to medium-high flame.

2 Put a large saucepan of salted water on highheat and bring to a boil.

3 Fill a large bowl with ice-cold water and place near the stove.

4 Drop trimmed asparagus into the boiling water to blanch, about 1 minute at a good boil. Lift out and drop into ice water to shock, stopping the cooking and setting the colour. Allow to cool completely in the water; add a few ice cubes if water warms up too much.

5 Once cool, lift out and drain on a clean kitchen towel. Once well drained, place in dish, drizzle with about 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil, season with sea salt and pepper to taste, and set aside.

6 Wipe the portobello caps with a clean, damp cloth. With the tip of a sharp paring knife, shallow-score the tops of the mushroom caps in a diamond or cross-hatch pattern. Arrange caps on a plate, brush with remaining olive oil, season with sea salt and pepper to taste, flip over and repeat. Set aside with asparagus.

7 Grill the mushrooms and asparagus, starting with the mushrooms—they take a little longer. Grill both sides of the mushrooms until nice char marks are achieved and the mushrooms have softened a bit, about 3 minutes each side. Grill asparagus until some charring is achieved, about 4 minutes.

8 To serve, place about ¼ to 1/3 cup (60 to 80 mL) of arugula on the plate. Top with 1 grilled portobello cap and 5 spears of asparagus. Drizzle with Honey-Balsamic Reduction and shave a generous amount of cheese overtop, about 2 tbsp (30 mL) or to taste.

Serves 4


HONEY-BALSAMIC REDUCTION

Balsamic has a strong flavour, so pick a honey with a big personality—buckwheat, chestnut or even manuka—although any will do just fine. And there’s no need for pricy 20-year-old balsamic, though do pick one without added sugars or colours.

2 cups (500 mL) balsamic vinegar
¼ cup (60 mL) honey

1 In a large, high-sided skillet over medium-high heat, bring the balsamic to a gentle boil.

2 Add the honey and stir. Using a flat-ended wooden or silicon spatula is best, as it scrapes the sticky liquid off the bottom.

3 Continue to boil gently until reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Drag the spatula across the pan’s bottom and when the liquid is slow to flow back into the empty spatula trail, you know it’s thickening nicely.

4 Carefully transfer to a heatproof jar. Just like caramel, this stuff is hot and sticky!

5 Store covered in the fridge for up to three months.

Makes 1 cup (250 mL)

What to Serve

LCBO#:665216
$9.95  
LCBO#:68049
$15.50  
201503019.jpg
food and drink

Grilled Asparagus & Portobello Caps

Early Summer 2015

BY: Signe Langford

With salty, sweet, sour and umami in perfect balance, this combination of early summer’s favourite veggie—asparagus—and summer’s favourite way to cook—grilling—will be a real hit.

20 fresh asparagus spears, washed, tough ends trimmed
3 tbsp (45 mL) olive oil, divided
Sea salt and pepper
4 portobello caps, stems removed
1 to 11/2 cups (250 to 375 mL) baby arugula
Honey-Balsamic Reduction (recipe follows) to taste
Shaved fresh Parmesan or Pecorino Pepato, to taste

1 Preheat grill to medium-high flame.

2 Put a large saucepan of salted water on highheat and bring to a boil.

3 Fill a large bowl with ice-cold water and place near the stove.

4 Drop trimmed asparagus into the boiling water to blanch, about 1 minute at a good boil. Lift out and drop into ice water to shock, stopping the cooking and setting the colour. Allow to cool completely in the water; add a few ice cubes if water warms up too much.

5 Once cool, lift out and drain on a clean kitchen towel. Once well drained, place in dish, drizzle with about 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil, season with sea salt and pepper to taste, and set aside.

6 Wipe the portobello caps with a clean, damp cloth. With the tip of a sharp paring knife, shallow-score the tops of the mushroom caps in a diamond or cross-hatch pattern. Arrange caps on a plate, brush with remaining olive oil, season with sea salt and pepper to taste, flip over and repeat. Set aside with asparagus.

7 Grill the mushrooms and asparagus, starting with the mushrooms—they take a little longer. Grill both sides of the mushrooms until nice char marks are achieved and the mushrooms have softened a bit, about 3 minutes each side. Grill asparagus until some charring is achieved, about 4 minutes.

8 To serve, place about ¼ to 1/3 cup (60 to 80 mL) of arugula on the plate. Top with 1 grilled portobello cap and 5 spears of asparagus. Drizzle with Honey-Balsamic Reduction and shave a generous amount of cheese overtop, about 2 tbsp (30 mL) or to taste.

Serves 4


HONEY-BALSAMIC REDUCTION

Balsamic has a strong flavour, so pick a honey with a big personality—buckwheat, chestnut or even manuka—although any will do just fine. And there’s no need for pricy 20-year-old balsamic, though do pick one without added sugars or colours.

2 cups (500 mL) balsamic vinegar
¼ cup (60 mL) honey

1 In a large, high-sided skillet over medium-high heat, bring the balsamic to a gentle boil.

2 Add the honey and stir. Using a flat-ended wooden or silicon spatula is best, as it scrapes the sticky liquid off the bottom.

3 Continue to boil gently until reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Drag the spatula across the pan’s bottom and when the liquid is slow to flow back into the empty spatula trail, you know it’s thickening nicely.

4 Carefully transfer to a heatproof jar. Just like caramel, this stuff is hot and sticky!

5 Store covered in the fridge for up to three months.

Makes 1 cup (250 mL)

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