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Grilled Asparagus with Roasted Red Pepper Puree

Grilled Asparagus with Roasted Red Pepper Puree

Asparagus is still in season right now and although I'm not growing it myself, I've been buying its beautiful green (or purple) stems as often as I can. I also love red peppers. I'm growing peppers now, but they won't be harvested for quite some time, so I relied on my local markets for this batch. Peppers are a perfect pairing for asparagus, particularly when the peppers are roasted - it really brings out the flavor.

Even though I grilled the asparagus, you could also cook or roast it and get the same flavors.

Ingredients

1 1/2-2 lbs red bell pepper (about 3 large peppers)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1 bunch fresh asparagus
Sprinkle of garlic powder to taste

Directions: Red Pepper Puree

This recipe is based on one from Mark Bittman. I altered the amounts a bit.

  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Line a roasting pan with enough foil to cover the bottom and be folded over the peppers after they're cooked. I just folded the excess in one side of the pan while cooking.
  2. Place the peppers in the roasting pan and roast, turning peppers every 10 minutes until the peppers collapse and are charred - about 40 minutes total.
  3. Remove from oven and cover with excess foil. Allow to cool about 15- 20 minutes.
  4. Working over a bowl to catch the peppers' liquid, remove and discard the core, skin and seeds.
  5. Place the pepper pulp in a food processor with about 2 tablespoons of the reserved liquid. Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt and turn on the food processor. Drizzle the oil through the feed tube of the processor. Stop the processor when pureed and taste, adjusting salt and oil as needed.

Directions: Grilled Asparagus

  1. Trim the ends of the asparagus and drizzle with olive oil and toss with your hands to coat.
  2. Sprinkle a little bit of garlic powder across the asparagus. (Add just enough to flavor, but not overpower the asparagus.)
  3. Grill on a medium-hot grill for about 2-3 minutes per side. Keep a close eye on it, particularly if your asparagus is thin, it may need less time. Don't let it burn.
  4. Remove the asparagus when done.

Plate the puree on a small plate and add 6-8 spears of asparagus on top and serve. Makes a great appetizer or side dish.

 

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