Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Grilled Purple Asparagus

I used purple asparagus because it looked fun and I happened to come across it at my local grocery store. Feel free to substitute green asparagus instead.

1 bunch purple (or green) asparagus
Olive oil
1 Tbsp. grated parmesan

Preheat grill on medium heat. Trim asparagus and discard the ends. (To trim pull up on bottom end of asparagus and see where it snaps naturally; trim other spears to that same length.) Drizzle asparagus with olive oil and sprinkle salt and freshly ground black pepper. For best results skewer asparagus or preheat and use grill pan. If you don't have either of these things, a sheet aluminum foil works just fine. Grill asparagus about 5-7 minutes or until tender. (Thinner stalks will take less time.) Sprinkle with grated parmesan and serve.

Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs NV

This is a non-vintage sparkling rose from Sonoma Carneros that I paired with grilled chicken with chimichurri. It's bright and crisp, with notes of strawberry and raspberry, and a hint of lemon. A pale blush color and light mousse make it a great wine for warm evenings.

Price: $21.00

Taste: 4
Value: 3.5
Drinkability: 4
Effervescence: 3
Overall: 14.5

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Simple, yet refined, this dish has a subtle sweetness and is a perfect accompaniment to grilled chicken.

5 medium sweet potatoes
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. chopped rosemary

Preheat oven to 400˚ Peel sweet potatoes and slice into 1/4 inch medallions. Toss sweet potatoes in large bowl with olive oil, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Put on baking sheet and cook at 400˚ for 30 minutes or until tender. Finally, broil potatoes for 5 minutes.

Grilled Chicken with Chimichurri

This is a great dish for a warm spring or summer day because the chimichurri gives it a great, fresh, herbaceous flavor. If you are in a time crunch, the chicken doesn't have to be marinated and you could just sprinkle on some salt, pepper, and olive oil before grilling.

Serves 4

Grilled Chicken:

Zest of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp. dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. green garlic (or a few cloves regular garlic)
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
Juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. salt
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 large chicken breasts cut in half (Place flat on cutting board and cut horizontally; this reduces cooking time. You could also substitute 4 chicken cutlets.)

Mix ingredients and pour into a plastic ziplock bag. Marinate at least 1 hour before grilling, turning the chicken at least once. Pat dry before cooking.

Preheat grill to medium heat. Sprinkle both sides of each chicken breast with salt and pepper and then coat with olive oil.  Grill 3-4 minutes per side on medium heat or until cooked through. Rest for 3-5 minutes. Slice and serve with chimichurri.


3/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup chopped parsley
3 cloves garlic
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/3 cup olive oil

In the bowl of the food processor combine cilantro, parsley, garlic, zest, and lemon juice. While pulsing the food processor, slowly add in the olive oil and pulse until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (If you have time, let the chimichurri rest in the refrigerator; the flavors will combine and enhance with time.)

Green Garlic Compound Butter

Green Garlic is the star of this recipe. It is a young garlic and it available in the spring, usually from farmer's markets. It has a milder garlic flavor and looks more like a green onion than garlic. This is great on everything from a baguette to grilled meats or fish. 

4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. minced green garlic
1/2 Tbsp. minced basil
1/2 Tbsp. minced Italian parsley
1/4 tsp. salt
Pinch freshly ground black pepper

In a small bowl, combine the butter, green garlic, basil, parsley, salt, and pepper until well mixed. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if necessary. If using right away keep at room temperature. If using later, transfer mixture onto sheet of plastic wrap. Then, roll the mixture in the plastic wrap into a log and twist the extra plastic wrap on the ends. Place in freezer or refrigerator and slice into discs to use.