June 7 2020
I love to grill, and I especially love it when the entire meal can be prepared on the grill! This side dish is the perfect accompaniment to grilled fish, chicken or even burgers. It's also wonderful because it can be prepared ahead so that you can focus on the rest of the meal leading right up to serving it.
Just char up some asparagus and onions. Mix up a little vinaigrette, drizzle it over the grilled veggies. Top that with some dates or figs, luscious Blue cheese and some toasted pine nuts and you're ready to go!
(Inspired from Fine Cooking)
Serves 10-12 as a side dish
Grilling Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
2-1/2 lb asparagus (about 2 large bunches), trimmed
8 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large sweet onion (such as Vidalia), cut into 1/2-inch disks and threaded onto metal skewers
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
3 ounces good-quality blue cheese, crumbled (3/4 cup)
1/3 cup thinly sliced dates or dried Black Mission figs (preferably small ones)
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
Heat a gas grill to medium or prepare a medium charcoal fire.
Put the asparagus on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the oil, and season with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and a few generous grinds of black pepper. Turn to coat. Grill the asparagus (covered on a gas grill) until they have nice grill marks, about 4 minutes. Turn and continue cooking until tender and browned, about 4 more minutes; transfer to a large platter. Reduce the heat on the gas grill to medium low or let the charcoal burn down a bit.
On a rimmed baking sheet, coat the onions with 2 tablespoons of the oil, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and several grinds of pepper. Grill, covered, until tender and browned, 8 to 10 minutes per side. Return the onions to the baking sheet.
In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil, the vinegar, and thyme. Toss the asparagus with about half the vinaigrette and then arrange neatly on the platter. Scatter the onions over the asparagus and drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette. Sprinkle with the blue cheese, dates or figs, and pine nuts, and serve; this can sit for up to 1 hour at room temperature.
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