Grilled Asparagus with Meyer Lemon Brown Butter and Parmigiano Reggiano
Source: Matt Davidson, Pizzeria Delfina
This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on March 18, 2017.
24 large spears asparagus
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 ounces extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1½ Meyer lemons
2 whole garlic cloves
6 ounces unsalted butter
½ bunch Italian parsley, chopped
3-4 ounces Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
Light a charcoal grill and let the coals burn down until they’re glowing, or preheat a gas grill or broiler.
Wash the asparagus and pat dry. Cut off the woody bottom ends, about 1-1½ inches. Season with salt and black pepper and lightly toss with a bit of the olive oil. After quartering the Meyer lemon lengthwise, proceed to cut the lemon wedges cross-wise, approximately ⅛ inch thick, to yield small fan-shaped slices. Set the lemon wedges aside.
Grill or broil the asparagus over (or under) medium heat, turning as needed, until the asparagus has browned evenly and the desired texture is reached–we prefer them cooked through with a little bit of a bite. Remove the spears from the grill one by one as they finish cooking and set them aside on a plate or platter.
Combine the garlic and butter in an 8-inch sauté pan. Cook over medium heat, seasoning with a generous pinch of salt and a couple grinds of black pepper. Stir the butter with a wooden spoon, allowing it to brown and incorporating the fond from the bottom of the pan. When the butter has taken a light amber color, add the parsley and lemon and stir as needed until the butter reaches a golden amber color.
While the butter browns, place the asparagus in the oven to warm, then transfer to individual plates or a large platter. Stir the butter once and douse the asparagus with a generous spoonful while the butter is frothy and hot. Use a kitchen peeler to shave the cheese over the asparagus and add a touch of black pepper. Serve immediately, before the cheese melts.