Smoked Paprika Grilled Asparagus
Welcome grilling season with this recipe for one of late spring/early summer’s best vegetables – rich, nutty asparagus complemented by smoked paprika, savory garlic and a squeeze of bright lemon.
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- Preheat your grill. Real wood charcoal tastes best, but gas works fine. Avoid instant-light briquettes as they make food taste like lighter fluid. Aim for medium-high heat – if your grill lid has a thermometer built into the lid, it should read about 375 degrees.
- Hold the end of an asparagus stalk between your thumb and forefinger and then halfway up the stalk with your other thumb and forefinger. Bend the stalk until it snaps. Typically, about 1⁄4 to 1⁄3 of the stalk will be discarded. Continue to snap all stems or line them up by the top ends and trim all the bottom ends off using your snapped stalk to measure where to cut.
- Place on a large platter or rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with oil and spices. Toss to coat.
- Place asparagus in a single layer perpendicular to your grill grates so they do not fall through (or use a grill pan).
- Place the lemon cut side down and close the grill.
- Remove the lemon when grill marks appear. Grill asparagus for about 8 to 12 minutes (or until tender and done to your liking) turning/rolling with a spatula 3 times to ensure even cooking.
- Remove asparagus with a metal spatula and place on a platter. Squeeze one grilled lemon half over top and serve with the other lemon half on the platter. Add more salt and pepper if desired.