Spain, a country known for its vibrant culture, stunning landscapes, and of course, its delectable cuisine. When it comes to Spanish dishes, the focus is often on bold flavors, fresh ingredients, and an irresistible combination of spices. Today, we’re going to embark on a culinary journey to create a dish that perfectly encapsulates the essence of Spain – Spanish-style Grilled Asparagus Spears.
Grilling asparagus is a popular practice in Spain, where the simple yet delicious flavors of this green gem are elevated to new heights with a touch of Spanish flair. This recipe is not just about preparing a dish; it’s about celebrating the culinary traditions and flavors that make Spain a gastronomic paradise.
Grilling asparagus has been a part of Mediterranean cuisine for centuries. Spain, with its extensive coastline and diverse regions, has embraced this practice with open arms. Asparagus is believed to have been cultivated in Spain since Roman times, making it a cherished ingredient in Spanish cooking.
In Spanish cuisine, the emphasis on fresh, local produce is evident. Asparagus, when in season, is a prized addition to many dishes. Grilling, with its ability to enhance the natural flavors of vegetables, is a popular cooking method, especially during spring and summer when asparagus is at its peak.
- Preheat the Grill: If you’re using a charcoal grill, light the coals and let them burn until they’re covered with white ash. If you’re using a gas grill, preheat it to medium-high heat. If you’re using a grill pan, place it over medium-high heat on your stovetop.
- Prepare the Asparagus: Trim the tough ends of the asparagus spears by holding each end and bending until they snap naturally. Discard the woody ends. Place the asparagus in a mixing bowl.
- Prepare the Marinade: In a separate bowl, whisk together the olive oil, minced garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, smoked paprika, sea salt, and black pepper. This aromatic marinade will infuse the asparagus with layers of flavor.
- Marinate the Asparagus: Pour the marinade over the asparagus spears and toss them gently to ensure they’re evenly coated. Allow the asparagus to marinate for at least 10 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.
- Grill the Asparagus: Place the marinated asparagus spears on the preheated grill or grill pan. Grill for approximately 3-5 minutes on each side, or until they are tender and have a slight char. The exact grilling time may vary depending on the thickness of the asparagus spears.
- Serve: Transfer the grilled asparagus to a serving platter. If desired, sprinkle grated Manchego cheese over the top while they are still hot, allowing it to melt slightly. This adds a delightful Spanish touch to the dish.
- Garnish and Enjoy: Finish with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and a pinch of smoked paprika for an extra burst of flavor. Serve your Spanish-style Grilled Asparagus Spears hot, accompanied by a glass of crisp Spanish white wine or as a side dish to your favorite Spanish-inspired meal.
With each bite of these Spanish-style Grilled Asparagus Spears, you’ll taste the essence of Spain – the smoky paprika, the zesty lemon, and the robust flavors of the grill. It’s a dish that captures the heart and soul of Spanish cuisine, celebrating the tradition of using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients and the joy of gathering around the grill with friends and family.
As you savor the tender spears, you’ll not only indulge in a delicious culinary experience but also travel back in time, connecting with the rich history of Spanish cooking. So, gather your ingredients, fire up the grill, and let the flavors of Spain transport you to a world of gastronomic delight. ¡Buen provecho!