Recipe of the Week: Parmesan Balsamic Grilled Asparagus

Despite the absence of spring so far this year, Brian and I busted out the grill a week or so ago to cook up some dinner. Maybe we were hoping that doing so would coerce warmer weather out from wherever it's hiding. While we were unsuccessful there, we did manage to whip up a yummy steak dinner with one of my all time favorite sides - grilled asparagus with Parmesan and balsamic vinegar.

As is the case with many of my recipes, this one was just a mixture of creativity and what I had available at the time. It works even if you don't have a grill too - I've used my cast iron skillet on days the weather won't cooperate!

Here's what you need:

And here's what you need to do:

1.  Trim the bottoms of your asparagus and rinse. Toss it all into a gallon size zip top bag (you could use an oblong baking dish as well, this is just easier). Add a few cloves of minced garlic, salt and pepper, and just enough olive oil to coat the asparagus - don't let it drown in oil, just enough so it's "shiny." Seal the bag, and mush so all the asparagus is evenly coated with oil and seasonings. Stick the bag in the fridge and let it marinate. I've left it anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours.

2. Once your grill is ready (we've used both charcoal and gas) arrange the asparagus in a single layer over the heat. Watch it closely - it can burn fast! We like ours pretty crunchy; just test a piece every now and then until it has the texture you like. About five minutes usually does it for us. Make sure to turn it a few times as well and let that asparagus char a bit!

3. Pull the asparagus from the grill and arrange on a platter. Drizzle your balsamic vinegar over the top, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. That's it! Brian's mom and I are so happy that he and his dad don't like asparagus - whenever I make this we get it all to ourselves :)

It seems as if many of my recent recipe posts are all very simple. Maybe I'm craving a bit of simplicity amongst these crazy days! And a bit more time spent grilling on the deck, perhaps. What are your favorite summertime recipes?

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