Thursday, April 18, 2013

It's Grilling Season: Grilled Mushrooms & Asparagus

It's starting to feel more like Spring around here, and it's been sunny and mild this week, which is more than enough excuse to get out the grill.  I flipped through Bobby Flay's Grill It! for inspiration, and two recipes caught my eye  One was Grilled Asparagus with Green Peppercorn Vinaigrette, and the other was Grilled Portobello Mushrooms with Hazelnut Pesto and Goat Cheese. Though I usually do exactly what Julia Child tells me, I can't disagree with her more when she says, "there is nothing worse than grilled vegetables."  To me, slightly charred, perfectly grilled vegetables are the delicious epitome of the warm, sunshine-filled months.

For the asparagus, I used Red Wine Vinegar in place of White Wine Vinegar, threw in a little whole grain mustard, and opted for capers instead of green peppercorns. For the mushrooms, I used some of my Swiss Chard and Brussels Sprout Pesto that I made and stashed in the freezer a couple weeks ago. We bought some pretty rib-eye steaks to go with the grilled vegetables, and we had a springtime feast!
Grilled Portobello Mushrooms with Pesto and Goat Cheese 
Serves 2

2 portobello mushroom, wiped clean and stems removed
~2 Tb olive oil + salt and pepper
1/4 c crumbled goat cheese
1 tsp lemon zest

Drizzle olive oil over top and bottom of the mushroom caps, and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.

Place the mushrooms on the grill cap side down.  Grill over high heat for 4-5 minutes, until slightly charred. Flip and grill for 3-4 more minutes, until cooked through.

Remove mushrooms to a platter, cap side down. Top with crumbled goat cheese and a dallop of pesto, and garnish with the lemon zest. Serve immediately.

Grilled Asparagus with Caper Vinaigrette
Serves 2

1 bunch of asparagus, tough ends trimmed
~2 Tb olive oil + salt and pepper
3 Tb Red Wine Vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp whole grain mustard
2 tsp honey
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3/4 Tb capers, drained and chopped
1/4 c + 2 Tb olive oil

Whisk together the red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, honey, salt, pepper, and capers. Slowly drizzle in olive oil, whisking constantly to emulsify.

(You can make this a couple days in advance, storing it in the refrigerator, but let it sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before serving.  I make mine in a little glass jar so that I can give it a good shake before serving, and the jar works nicely for storing leftover vinaigrette in the refrigerator)

Drizzle olive oil over the asparagus, sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper, and toss to coat.

Grill asparagus over high heat about 3-4 minutes.  Roll the stalks over, and grill 3-4 more minutes, until slightly charred.

Remove the asparagus to a platter.  Drizzle with the vinaigrette, toss, and serve immediately.

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