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Chargrilled Asparagus under Olive & Feta, Parmesan Crumbs

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Chargrilled Asparagus under a Parmesan Crumb

(Originally published, Nov-2017, then updated by Tania, Nov-2018)

 

Ahhh….one of my favourite times of the year when asparagus is a plenty! It was also my favourite time of the year in the cafe kitchen because asparagus is so versatile. Great for tarts and pies, quiches, frittatas, paninis, as an extra on the breakfast menu and even savoury muffins.

I particularly love it chargrilled, it seals in the flavour, keeps its crunchiness and it also takes on a rich, deep green that looks gorgeous along with those nice chargrill marks. So, because this is a nice, simple vegetarian dish I decided to lug out the heavy grill plate and it was totally worth it!

The crumble is made with panko crumbs, which have an airy, and delicate texture that helps them crisp as they cook (versus normal breadcrumbs that I only use for binding mixtures like meatloaf or meat patties). I went Greek, slash Italian style by adding parmesan, olives, feta, rosemary and a little bit of lemon zest and it tastes delicious.

Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead. 🙂

 

INGREDIENTS

Breadcrumb Topping
3 tablespoons / 45 g butter
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/3 cup / 50 g crumbled feta
¼ cup / 30 grated parmesan
2 tablespoons sliced olives or 6 pitted ones, sliced up
2 teaspoons rosemary leaves
½ teaspoon lemon zest (½ tiny lemon)
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon cracked, black pepper

Asparagus
36 asparagus spears (3 bunches here in NZ & all of equal thickness)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
pinch of salt & black cracked pepper

Garnish – a few sprigs of rosemary & a few lemon wedges

 

Serves 6

 

Notes

  • If you don’t enjoy eating any of the following; rosemary, olives or feta…..simply leave them out! Just the buttery breadcrumbs with the cheese and zingy lemon zest added is still delicious!
  • Also, if you aren’t that keen on parmesan simply switch it to your favourite cheese.
  • Of course, if you haven’t got a chargriller you can use the BBQ grill. You can also simply blanch the asparagus in boiling water until it’s tender.
  • Asparagus buying tips: Look for vibrant green stalks that stand up straight and are not floppy at all. Also, look for freshly cut stems and tips that are tightly closed with purple highlights, not mushy at all and/or dark green/black. A dull green hue and wrinkles in the stems are an indication of old age. It’s also best to choose stalks of uniform thickness so they’re all cooked at the same time.

 

STEP BY STEP

Breadcrumbs

Roughly chop up the rosemary leaves.

Zest and juice the lemon (½ tsp of zest & 1 tsp juice).

Next, place the butter in a small saucepan and melt it over a low heat.

Add the breadcrumbs and stir them into the butter.

Turn the heat up to medium and stir it continuously until all of the breadcrumbs are a light golden brown (mine took 4 minutes).

You can smell them when they are ready, they smell so good!

Chargrilled Asparagus under Olive & Feta, Parmesan Crumbs

Place them into a small bowl and add the feta, parmesan, sliced olives, rosemary leaves, lemon zest, olive oil and the pepper.

Chargrilled Asparagus under a Parmesan Crumb

Mix it together well and set aside.

Chargrilled Asparagus under a Parmesan Crumb

Asparagus

Prepare the asparagus spears by washing them in cold water and then snapping off the stalk ends.

  • They should naturally snap off where the woody part meets the more tender part (approx 3-4 cm from the ends).

Chargrilled Asparagus under a Parmesan Crumb

Place a chargrill pan (or BBQ) over a medium/high heat and whilst it’s heating up lay the spears out on a board or plate and drizzle them with the tablespoon of olive oil.

  • If you are blanching them, there’s no need to drizzle them with olive oil. Just fill a frying pan or large saucepan with enough water to cover the asparagus and place it over a high heat. When it’s rapidly boiling add the asparagus and blanch it until it’s just tender and still has a slight bite to it (mine took 5 minutes but if your asparagus is thicker it could take a minute longer, thinner a minute less).

Chargrilled Asparagus under a Parmesan Crumb

Lay the spears out on the very hot grill…..

Chargrilled Asparagus under a Parmesan Crumb

…..and grill them for around 3 minutes on each side or until a knife pierces them easily. (You want them tender but still to have a bite to them.)

  • If your spears are thin, they will take less time and thicker, a little longer.
  • I try to only turn vegetables once when chargrilling, so they have nice prominent chargrill lines.

Chargrilled Asparagus under a Parmesan Crumb

Once tender, lay them out on a serving plate, either in a single row or two high.

Squeeze the lemon juice over them and also a sprinkling of salt and pepper.

Chargrilled Asparagus under a Parmesan Crumb

Next, turn your oven grill (broiler) to a medium heat so it heats up.

Spread the breadcrumb mixture over the spears (leaving the asparagus ends and tips visible…just for looks!) and gently press the crumbs down so they are compact. 

  • DUH! I forgot to take a pic sorry, what kinda Step by Step is this?!

Place the crumbed asparagus under the grill until it’s a lovely golden brown.

Chargrilled Asparagus under a Parmesan Crumb

If you like you can garnish them with a few sprigs of rosemary & a couple of lemon wedges.

Just GORGEOUS!

Chargrilled Asparagus under a Parmesan Crumb

Keepin’ it fresh – Cover well with cling wrap and keep chilled for up to 2 days. This reheats well in the microwave.

 

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Chargrilled Asparagus under Olive & Feta, Parmesan Crumbs

Gorgeous, vibrant, chargrilled asparagus with an olive, feta, rosemary & parmesan, panko breadcrumb topping
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins

Ingredients

Breadcrumb Topping

  • 3 tablespoons / 45 g butter
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup / 50 g crumbled feta
  • ¼ cup / 30 grated parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons sliced olives or 6 pitted ones sliced up
  • 2 teaspoons rosemary leaves
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest ½ tiny lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper

Asparagus

  • 36 asparagus spears 3 bunches here in NZ & all of equal thickness
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • pinch of salt & black cracked pepper

Garnish

  • a few sprigs of rosemary & a few lemon wedges

Instructions

Breadcrumbs

  • Roughly chop up the rosemary leaves.
  • Zest and juice the lemon (½ tsp of zest & 1 tsp juice).
  • Place the butter in a small saucepan and melt it over a low heat.
  • Add the breadcrumbs and stir them into the butter.
  • Turn the heat up to medium and stir it continuously until all of the breadcrumbs are a light golden brown (around 4 minutes).
  • Place them into a small bowl and add the feta, parmesan, sliced olives, rosemary leaves, lemon zest, olive oil and the pepper.
  • Mix it together well and set aside.

Asparagus

  • Prepare the asparagus spears by washing them in cold water and then snapping off the stalk ends. (They should naturally snap off where the woody part meets the more tender part, approx 3-4 cm from the ends.)
  • Place a chargrill pan (or BBQ) over a medium/high heat and whilst it's heating up lay the spears out on a board or plate and drizzle them with the tablespoon of olive oil.
  • *If you are blanching them, there's no need to drizzle them with olive oil. Just fill a frying pan or large saucepan with enough water to cover the asparagus and place it over a high heat. When it's rapidly boiling add the asparagus and blanch it until it's just tender and still has a slight bite to it (approx 5 minutes).
  • Lay the spears out on the very hot grill and grill them for around 3 minutes on each side or until a knife pierces them easily, tender but still have a bite to them. (If your spears are thin, they will take less time and thicker, a little longer.)
  • Once tender, lay them out on a serving plate either in a single row or two high.
  • Squeeze the lemon juice over them and also a sprinkling of salt and pepper.
  • Turn your oven grill (broiler) to a medium heat so it heats up.
  • Spread the breadcrumb mixture over the spears (leaving the asparagus ends and tips visible) and gently press the crumbs down so they are compact.
  • Place the crumbed asparagus under the grill until it's a lovely golden brown.
  • Garnish with a few sprigs of rosemary & a couple of lemon wedges.
  • Cover well with cling wrap and keep chilled for up to 2 days. Reheats well in the microwave.

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2 Comments:

  1. love the idea of a nice crumble on top of grilled veg!

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