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.

 

I'm Catherine, a small-space urban gardener in New Jersey (Zone 7a) who started gardening out of upcycled wooden wine boxes. For years, I wanted to try gardening, but didn't know where to start. I got up the nerve to give it a try - starting small with a single wooden wine box that turned an idea into reality. That reality quickly turned into my filling every sunny inch of space of my postage-stamp size lawn and turning it into a garden oasis. I grow mostly vegetables and herbs with some exception for fruits (when the squirrels and rabbits don't get to them first). I love learning from gardening communities (and lots of trial and error).

I hope one day to take all that I'm learning and apply it to a larger plot of land. To help me get there, I'm extending my learning through the University of Massachusetts, Stockbridge School of Agriculture's, Sustainable Food & Farming program. (I'm addicted to learning as much as I am to gardening.)

This blog isn't just for gardeners (although I hope it inspires some of you to try growing a plant or two). The recipes (food & cocktails) in theRecipes section of this blog contain ingredients that don't have to come from your own backyard. If you like visiting your local farmer's market(or even your grocery store) and would like to get some new recipes you can use with the fresh produce and herbs you get from your local growers, this blog will have plenty for you too.

In addition to gardening and cooking, I also love to visit and photograph my surroundings. I feel fortunate to have so many amazing places here in New York/New Jersey, where I live and work. Visits to local farms, farmer's markets, and cycling through rural farming areas help me feel connected and refreshed. share these experiences in theExploring section of the blog so that you might visit through proxy or be inspired enough to visit yourself. 

With very few exceptions, all of the photographs on this site are ones I have taken myself. (For the photographers out there, I shoot with a Canon 7D and sometimes with my Lumix  DMC-ZS15 compact camera.) 

I hope this blog inspires you to grow, create, explore, and try something new. The best way to stay up-to-date is to follow me using the social buttons above, or click Subscribe and sign up for my email newsletters.    

Happy Gardening and Healthful Living!

- Catherine