Grilled asparagus with honey mustard dressing and shaved parmesan
A classic spring recipe by Emma Frisch from Feast by firelight
When chef and author Simon Majumdar announced his tour “Give Us A Bed I’ll Cook You Dinner,” I immediately invited him to Firelight Camps. I had one caveat. I wanted to cook a campfire feast with him for our guests. He arrived in May, when fresh produce is still hard to come by. Our menu planning took on the appearance of a reality TV challenge: Prepare five unforgettable dishes with ten available ingredients. Go! We set off on a treasure hunt to all my favorite farms, scrounging what we could. Melissa Madden, farmer and owner of the Good Life Farm, gave us her first harvest of asparagus, which is like green gold to the winter-starved diet! We paired this dish with her Workhorse hard cider, named for the draft horses that till the alleys between the apple trees where the asparagus grows.
PREP TIME / COOK TIME
5 minutes / 10 minutes
• 2 pounds asparagus
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
• 20 turns of the pepper mill
• 1⁄3 cup Honey Mustard Dressing (see below)
• Parmesan wedge for garnish
Fire the grill to medium-high heat and position the grill grate 2 to 4 inches above the coals.
While the asparagus are still bundled, slice off about 2 inches from the fibrous bottoms.
Rinse the asparagus, allowing a few water droplets to cling to the stalks, and transfer to a serving plate or baking sheet; the moisture will help them steam and cook over the fire. Add the olive oil and, using long tongs or your hands, toss the asparagus until evenly coated with the oil. Season with the salt and pepper.
Place the asparagus on the grill grate over direct heat. Using long tongs, rotate the asparagus frequently and cook until tender and charred, 5 to 10 minutes. Be careful not to let any fall through the grate.
Transfer the grilled asparagus to a serving plate, baking sheet, or campers’ plates and drizzle with the dressing. Set out the Parmesan wedge with a vegetable peeler so campers can add thin shavings of cheese to their dish.
Serve warm or cold. Store leftovers in an airtight container, chilled, for up to 4 days.
honey mustard dressing
• 1⁄4 cup Dijon mustard
• 1⁄4 cup olive oil
• 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 2 tablespoons honey (preferably local)
• 1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
• 8 grinds of the pepper mill
• 2 cups finely chopped fresh parsley
• 1 cup diced red onion
• 1 cup diced celery (optional)
• 1 cup raisins
• 3 tablespoons capers
To make the dressing: In a lidded jar, combine the mustard, olive oil, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper. Seal tightly and shake vigorously to combine. For a creamier dressing, whiz in a blender. Store in an airtight container, chilled, for up to 2 weeks.
Combine the parsley, onion, celery (if using), raisins, and capers in an airtight container or ziplock bag and then chill for up to 3 days.
Reprinted with permission from Feast by Firelight, text and illustrations copyright © 2018 by Emma Frisch. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.