Thursday, June 6, 2013

Grilled Asparagus with Harissa

Grilled Asparagus with Harissa

If you are looking for a new way to make asparagus, you might want to try grilling asparagus in a foil packet, then dressing it with harissa when it comes off the grill.

Harissa is one of those trendy condiments at the moment.  I kept seeing it in the food magazines and on TV, so I decided to track it down.  Wegman's had it in the International aisle.

What is harissa?  It is a spicy Moroccan mix of red chili peppers, garlic, olive oil and spices, mostly cumin. 

To me, it tastes like olive tapenade --- if you have ever had that ---but with a kick.

It is used in making traditional tagines (Moroccan stews), but tastes good with chicken, lamb or vegetables. 

To make grilled asparagus with harissa dressing --- it is very easy:

To prepare, spread washed and prepped asparagus out in a single layer in thick foil or make two layers.  Oil it and add salt and pepper, then fold all the edges around the outside until it is completely enclosed and sealed.

Our asparagus was quite fresh, so it cooked faster than expected.  That's the only drawback about grilling in a foil packet.  You can't see inside to tell when it is done.

Tom cooked ours for 10 minutes. A couple minutes less would have been better. And be sure to open up soon after you take it off the grill to slow down the cooking.

Carefully slide the packet off the grill and on to a platter.  Carefully open the packet. 

Add harissa, which has been thinned a little with some olive oil, and serve. 


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