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Grilled Asparagus and Spring Onions with Lemon Dressing

Grilled Asparagus and Spring Onions with Lemon Dressing

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Fat asparagus stalks won’t fall through the grill grates—and they can char without becoming soft and stringy.


  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated Meyer lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh Meyer lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • ¼ cup olive oil, plus more
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 2 large bunches thick asparagus, trimmed
  • 2 bunches spring onions, halved if large

Recipe Preparation

  • Prepare grill for medium-high. Whisk lemon zest, Meyer lemon zest, lemon juice, Meyer lemon juice, mustard, and ¼ cup oil in a medium bowl to combine; season dressing with salt and pepper (if you don’t have Meyer lemons, use regular lemons in their place).

  • Place asparagus and spring onions on a rimmed baking sheet and lightly drizzle with oil. Season with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Grill, turning once, until lightly charred and crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Serve drizzled with dressing.

Recipe by Dave Muller & Lana Porcello, Outerlands, San Francisco, CA,

Nutritional Content

Calories (kcal) 100 Fat (g) 7 Saturated Fat (g) 1 Cholesterol (mg) 0 Carbohydrates (g) 7 Dietary Fiber (g) 3 Total Sugars (g) 3 Protein (g) 3 Sodium (mg) 50Reviews Section

  1. Vinaigrette
    • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    • 1 shallot, finely chopped
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
    • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  2. Vegetables
    • 20 asparagus spears, each trimmed to 5-inch length
    • 8 green onions, green tops trimmed
    • 4 medium zucchini, each cut lengthwise into 1/4- to 1/3-inch-thick slices
    • 2 large ears of corn, husked
    • 4 medium heads of Belgian endive
    • 2 small heads of radicchio, halved through core
    • 6 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
    • Olive oil (for brushing)
  1. For vinaigrette:
    1. Combine first 9 ingredients in medium bowl. Gradually whisk in oil season with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.
    1. Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Arrange all vegetables on baking sheets. Lightly brush all vegetables with oil sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill asparagus, green onions, zucchini, and corn until lightly charred and just tender, turning occasionally, about 5 minutes for green onions, 8 minutes for asparagus and zucchini, and 10 minutes for corn. Return vegetables to same sheets.
    2. Grill endive and radicchio until lightly charred, turning often, about 8 minutes. Transfer to baking sheets with other vegetables. Place tomatoes, skin side down, on grill and cook until just charred, about 3 minutes. Turn tomatoes grill until just beginning tosoften, about 1 minute longer. Transfer to sheets with other vegetables.
    3. Cut asparagus, green onions, and zucchini crosswise into 1-inch pieces place in large bowl. Cut corn kernels from cobs add to bowl. Cut endive in half lengthwise. Remove cores from endive and radicchio. Chop into 1/2- to 3/4-inch pieces add to bowl. Coarsely chop tomatoes. Using slotted spoon, add tomatoes to bowl. Do ahead Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Mix vinaigrette into vegetables. Season with salt and pepper.

    The ingredients and ratio for this recipe are almost identical for this recipe as for my roasted asparagus recipe.


    Look for medium-thick to thick spears of asparagus for grilling. Thin spears tend to burn easily. Look for bunches that are free from wrinkles or yellowed spears.

    Cooking Oil

    I recommend organic canola oil or avocado oil. If you have a preference to another high-heat oil, use that instead.

    Salt and Pepper

    To season this recipe all that is needed is salt and pepper. I add them before cooking. A half teaspoon of coarse kosher salt is just right, but feel free to adjust to your preference. Add on as much pepper as you like.


    This is optional, but I feel like it really helps to make the asparagus taste less bitter. Bitter is canceled by sour (which is the predominant taste of lemon.) A half of a lemon is plenty!

    How To Choose Asparagus

    When shopping for fresh asparagus there are a few things to look for to get the best bundle.

    Look for asparagus that are bright green in color and fades to white at the bottom. The tips may have a purple cast and should be closed and tight. The stalks should be firm and stand up straight, avoid asparagus that bend/flop to the side or look shriveled.

    Asparagus are in season from February to June, with April being peak season.

    Asparagus are grown in several sizes. All sizes are flavorful, just be mindful to select a bundle with the stalks all similar in size for consistent cooking.

    If you don’t plan on enjoying the asparagus the day you buy them, there are a few things you should do to keep your asparagus fresh:

    • Do not wash asparagus until you are ready to prepare them for cooking
    • Trim the bottom and wrap the cut ends in a wet paper towel. Store them in a large plastic bag in the refrigerator (preferably in the vegetable crisper) for 3-4 days.
    • Trim the bottoms of the asparagus, and fill a wide glass or jar with 1-inch of water. Place the cut ends in the water and cover the tips with plastic wrap. Store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

    Greek-style Grilled Asparagus Salad with Tomatoes & Feta

    This salad is so fresh and vibrant and the flavor of the grilled asparagus is out of this world!

    I stopped at a favorite international grocery store in Seattle a couple of days ago to pick up some fresh Feta cheese. When I asked for some domestic Feta the man behind the deli counter looked at me like I was crazy. Actually, it was more like a look of pity. “This American cow’s milk stuff is nothing more than glorified pressed cottage cheese.” And when you think about it, he’s kinda right. He recommended I try the Bulgarian sheep’s milk Feta. I squirmed a bit and told him I wasn’t a huge sheep product fan. He convinced me to try some and I did. And my taste buds and tummy clapped their hands with approval (well, figuratively speaking, of course). So I had him bundle me up a pound of fresh sheep Feta with some extra brine and took it home with me along with a few other goodies (including German almond paste/marzipan and some imported Italian tomatoes…some great recipes coming up!

    When I got home I debated what to make with this wonderful Feta. I opened my fridge and saw some beautiful red and yellow cherry tomatoes and cucumbers. At first I thought I’d make a standard Greek salad and headed to the pantry to get some red onions. But when I opened my fridge again to grab the cherry tomatoes and cucumbers, I thought I heard a lonely little voice coming from the crisper. I opened the drawer and saw a lovely bunch of asparagus, its sad little voice beckoning, “Choose me…choose me….” With a compassionate heart, I put the cucumbers back and grabbed the asparagus. I contemplated how I would incorporate it into my salad. It would need to be cooked to go in this otherwise raw salad, but steaming it seemed too boring. And then the little asparagus voice say, “Grill me…grill me….” And so I obeyed. And boy was the asparagus right!

    *Note to self: Always listen to the asparagus. It knows what it’s talking about.

    *Reminder to self: It always pays to be compassionate.

    This salad is quick to make, visually beautiful, and fabulously delicious! Enjoy it as a side dish or as a light meal with some good crusty bread.

    Wash and trim that beautiful asparagus.

    Spread the asparagus out on a lined cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss to coat and spared the asparagus out in a single layer if possible. Set the oven to “Broil” and grill for 7-8 minutes (depending on the thickness of the asparagus), or until lightly browned, tossing once or twice.

    Voila! Your gorgeous, delicious grilled asparagus! Set it aside to cool.

    Meanwhile, prepare the vinaigrette. You can use whichever herbs you prefer. I prefer rosemary in this particular salad. But the second time I made it (the very next day – yes, it’s that good and we had my family over to enjoy it) I added some fresh thyme and oregano (because the oregano is already taking over my garden and needed to be trimmed back!)

    Combine all the vinaigrette ingredients and shake until emulsified.

    Roughly chop the red onions.

    Slice the cherry tomatoes in half.

    Transfer the cooled asparagus to a cutting board and cut it into 1-inch pieces.

    Place all the veggies in a mixing bowl.

    Pour the vinaigrette over the vegetables and gently toss to combine.

    Add the Feta cheese and very carefully stir to combine. Let sit for 30 minutes before serving. Transfer to a serving dish. Best served at room temperature.

    Covered with ample amounts of asparagus, arugula and fresh parsley, this recipe from Susan Spungen offsets a rich ricotta-and-mozzarella base with a garden of green garnishes. The results are as springy as they are stunning.

    Melissa Clark’s five-star recipe is a favorite for good reason: “This simple pasta primavera uses a combination of the earliest vegetables available in spring — asparagus, peas and spring onions — making it a true celebration of the season,” she writes. Simply sauté the greens until crisp-tender, then toss them with pasta, crème fraîche, Parmesan and herbs, and the results are flawless.

    Asparagus & Jalapenos Cornbread Muffins

    Asparagus & Jalapenos Cornbread Muffins

    What you need:

    3 tbsp coconut oil
    1/3 cup apple sauce or reduced/cooked peaches
    1 large egg
    1/4 cup of pure maple syrup
    1 cup coconut milk
    1 cup cornmeal
    1 cup gf flour (Bobs Red Mill)
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    Sea salt & pepper
    1 red chili/ jalapenos, diced
    1 bunch of asparagus, chopped BUT save tops for garnish.

    What to do:

    Preheat oven to 350 and coat muffin tin with coconut oil. Mix all wet ingredients together with peppers and asparagus. Mix dry ingredients together thoroughly & slowly incorporate into wet batter. Pour into muffin tins approx. 1/4 full. Finish with aspara-tops. Bake for 15/20 minutes until golden.

    Good for up to 4 days fresh OR freeze for a couple weeks. Great with a fried egg, with preserves or what we did at home is use for sloppy Joe’s using Walter All Natural, Craft Caesar Mix.

    Photo and recipe by Rachel Bies.

    Grilled Asparagus and Spring Onions with Lemon Dressing - Recipes

    2 medium red onions, peeled

    1 ½ pounds asparagus (about 24 medium stalks), ends trimmed*
    4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
    Kosher salt
    Freshly ground black pepper
    ½ teaspoon sugar
    1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, best quality such as Fini
    Disposable grill pan**

    2. Prepare red onions: Cut onions in half from root to tip, then cut halves into ½-inch slices. Pull slices apart and tumble into disposable grill pan toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, ½ teaspoon kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.

    3. Prepare asparagus: Place spears in baking dish and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.

    4. Place pan of onions and asparagus on the grill (be sure to place spears perpendicular to grates so they don't fall through!). Set asparagus dish next to grill (do not clean). Cover and cook vegetables for 2-3 minutes. Open cover and turn asparagus (use tongs to press and roll). Cover and cook 1 -2 minutes more, until asparagus spears are nicely browned and tender-crisp. Remove asparagus from grill and place back in baking dish. Stir onions, cover, and continue cooking for about 15 - 25 minutes, stirring every few minutes, until tender and caramelized. In the meantime, transfer asparagus spears to cutting board and cut into 1½-inch pieces. Place back in baking dish and toss with finished grilled onions. Add sugar and balsamic vinegar and toss well. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary (I usually add a good ¼ teaspoon more salt). Transfer to serving platter and serve hot or room temperature.

    *To trim ends, bend one spear near its base to see where it naturally snaps off. Use a knife to trim remaining spears to the same length.

    **Make your own disposable grill pan. Shape two layers of heavy duty aluminum foil over a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Remove foil from pan.

    Why I Love This Shaved Asparagus Salad

    Shaved raw asparagus, if you have never eaten it, is a revelation. It’s crunchy, sweet, and the very essence of freshness. Wedded here to the anise hit of fennel and the spicy bite of red onion, brightened with sweet Meyer lemon and grounded with nutty Manchego and a final bracing hit of dill, it is a salad that I frankly never really adjust, which for those who know my tendency to tinker with a recipe, find shocking.

    Having trouble finding Meyer lemons? If you cannot source these delicious lemons near you, you can use fresh lemon juice from your grocery store’s regular lemons and add just a tiny squeeze of honey. Or, combine half lemon juice with half tangerine juice to approximate the floral sweetness of Meyers. If you happen to have an Asian market near you, look for yuzu juice or calamansi juice to substitute for Meyer lemon juice. Just taste the dressing and adjust for seasoning and don’t be afraid to add a bit of sweetness if it tastes too acidic for you.

    Don’t love the big flavor of raw onions? If you like a bit less heat on your onion, which I do, rinse the slices under cold running water, and toss them with one of the teaspoons of lemon juice from the dressing recipe and let sit for ten minutes, which should soften their bite when you add them into the salad.

    Looking for some variations in the recipe? Feeling like you need to tinker, just for fun? Add some toasted slivered almonds or swap out the Manchego for an aged cheddar. But truly, you’ll find that making it just as written is pretty perfect.

    Want to add some protein? This shaved asparagus salad can certainly serve as a main course salad. But if you𠆝 like some additional protein, consider adding fried rounds of goat cheese, grilled skirt steak slices, seared tuna, or flaked salmon with beautiful results.

    Grilled Asparagus and Spring Onions with Lemon Dressing - Recipes

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    Grilled Asparagus with Poached Egg & Lemon-Cream Sauce

    Prep: 5 minutes
    Cook/Grill: 25 minutes • Serves: 4

    1. Prepare outdoor grill for direct grilling over medium-high heat. In small saucepot, cook cream over medium-high heat 3 minutes or just until cream simmers. Reduce heat to medium simmer 10 to 12 minutes or until cream is reduced to 1/2 cup, stirring occasionally during last 5 minutes of cooking. Remove saucepot from heat whisk in lemon juice, butter, tarragon and 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cover to keep warm. Makes about 2/3 cup.

    2. Meanwhile, in large bowl, toss asparagus with oil and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Place asparagus on hot grill rack cover and cook 6 minutes or until asparagus is tender-crisp, turning occasionally.

    3. Fill large skillet or sauté pan with enough water to come halfway up sides. Add vinegar and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt heat to boiling over medium-high heat. Reduce heat so that water is barely simmering. Crack eggs, 1 at a time, into small cup. Slowly slide each egg into water while immersing cup slightly in water. Cook 4 minutes. Egg whites should be cooked through and yolks should be soft. With slotted spoon, transfer each egg to paper towel-lined plate. If desired, with paring knife, trim off any loose egg white.

    4. Divide asparagus between each of 4 salad plates. Carefully place 1 egg over asparagus on each plate pour about 2-1/2 tablespoons sauce over egg and asparagus.

    Approximate nutritional values per serving:
    356 Calories, 31g Fat (18g Saturated), 275mg Cholesterol,
    459mg Sodium, 7g Carbohydrates, 2g Fiber, 10g Protein

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