Farm Fresh Asparagus

The markets have been flooded with bundles of bright green, fresh and crisp asparagus for weeks now. Jumbo, pencil-thin, white…I’ve seen every iteration of these luscious spears overflowing from stands across the city.

If you haven’t been tempted yet to pick up a bunch of these springtime beauties, maybe this recipe will push you over the edge.

Balsamic Grilled Asparagus

Grilled asparagus kissed with balsamic vinegar, served with a fried egg, crumbled bacon, and lemon aioli. A kind of deconstructed modern carbonara if you will.

It takes a bit of work with the different components, but it’s worth it! Perfect for a fancy brunch or served as a starter, this dish is full of smooth richness, mellow sweetness, a little tang, and crunch.

Balsamic Grilled Asparagus

Serves: 3-4

1 pound asparagus, washed with ends of the stems trimmed
8 cups chicken stock
1 bowl ice water
½ pound bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 clove garlic
2 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons orange juice
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
½ cup extra virgin olive oil

1. Lemon Aïoli
Place the garlic, egg yolks, mustard, lemon juice, orange juice, salt, and grated cheese into a food processor and blend until smooth. Slowly add the olive oil while the processor is running. Prepare a double boiler, making sure the bowl on top is not touching the simmering water beneath. Place the sauce in the bowl and whisk until the sauce becomes a thick, smooth consistency (about 5 minutes).

2. Asparagus
Bring the chicken stock to a boil. Add the asparagus to the boiling stock, uncovered, for approximately 2 minutes. Drain and immediately place the spears into ice water to stop cooking. Drain again and pat dry.

3. Bacon
In a large skillet cook the bacon over high heat until crispy and brown. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon pieces to a plate lined with paper towels. Pour off most of the bacon grease, leaving just enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Heat the pan over medium-high heat, place the asparagus in the pan, and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add balsamic vinegar and stir to coat the asparagus. Sear on each side for 2-3 minutes.

4. Fried Egg
In a separate pan fry an egg sunny side up. When the white is mostly cooked, add a few tablespoons of water into the pan and cover for a minute or two. The result will be a yolk that is soft but not too raw. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

5. Plate the asparagus with the egg, crumbled bacon, and garnish with sauce.

Tip: You will have a lot of aioli leftover. Save it in an airtight container — it makes a wonderful sandwich spread or chip/veggie dip.

Balsamic Grilled Asparagus 15 April,2009Stephanie Hua

  • There is something so Warhol about that photo.

    Great presentation!

    It looks and sounds tasty! I love the minimalism and choice of ingredients. Nice job!


    ~ Paula

  • pablo94025

    This does indeed merit a try! However, I found this recipe by searching “grilled asparagus” and apart from the name of the recipe, I find no grilling or grilled even mentioned.

  • haha thanks, Paula, what a wonderful compliment!

  • pablo, you’re right, i technically pan-seared the asparagus in this recipe, but by all means, you can definitely prepare it on a grill, using a brush to coat it with the balsamic vinegar. enjoy!


Stephanie Hua

Stephanie Hua is the creator of Lick My Spoon, a place for all things delicious. So far she has learned that she very much enjoys salted caramel anything, a good soup dumpling is worth a scalded tongue, and there is no room in life for non-fat cheese and crappy chocolate. Also, a barrel of cheese balls never ends well.

Stephanie has been known to choose her company based on how much they can pack it down. Ability to endure cramped quarters, sketchy back alleys, and uncharted paths to seek out that special dish is also a plus in her book. If you fit the criteria, drop a note. You’ll probably get along just fine.

Stephanie’s writing and photography have been featured in Fodor’s Travel, Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Serious Eats, and Sundance Channel. Follow her on Facebook and @lickmyspoon.

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