Grilled asparagus with tarragon butter sauce



“This is the dawning of the Age of Asparagus
Age of Asparagus
Asparagus! Asparagus!”

I’m not sure what it is about this annual refrain that gets L so annoyed. I think it’s very clever and it makes for a delightful little ear worm that stays with you all day (you’ll see).

No apologies to L or The 5th Dimension. This is my anthem to spring, the song that heralds my favourite season – you guessed it – asparagus season.

Every year I watch the supermarket signs closely. Asparagus from Chile, Peru, Mexico, California. Finally, it’s from here. Asparagus has to be fresh. And then, for a few short weeks, it’s part of almost every meal. Prompting my son to say the other night, “why can’t we just eat normal vegetables like broccoli?”

If, like my son, you’re not a fan, here’s a list of what you’re missing (according to Wikipedia): “Asparagus is low in calories, contains no cholesterol and is very low in sodium. It is also a good source of vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium and zinc, and a very good source of dietary fibre, protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, rutin, niacin, folic acid, iron, phosphorus, potassium, copper, manganese and selenium.” This stuff is practically medicine.

So, sing along. “This is the dawning of the Age of….”

Grilled asparagus with tarragon butter sauce

1 pound fresh asparagus

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup milk

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Oil to coat asparagus

Heat a charcoal or gas grill to medium high.

While the grill is heating make the sauce by melting the butter in a pan over medium heat. When the butter is melted, whisk in the flour and stir for a minute to cook off the floury taste. Slowly add the milk and whisk to break up any lumps. Add the chopped tarragon, salt and pepper to taste, and simmer for a few minutes to thicken. If the sauce is too thick, add more milk.

Bend the asparagus until it snaps (discard the tough bottom part), coat it with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Carefully place on the grill. Cook without turning for a minute or two (depending on the heat of the grill) until a slight char develops. Turn and cook for another minute or two until the asparagus is tender.

Serve with the butter sauce. Enjoy.

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