Monday, April 24, 2017

Grilled Asparagus with Maple Walnuts and Savory Yogurt

Lightly grilled asparagus comes together with a super simple Greek yogurt sauce and some quickly-glazed maple walnuts for an incredibly easy and healthful side dish. This is a recipe that takes mere minutes to prepare, but is one that truly celebrates the freshness and beauty of asparagus - especially during the spring.

I have been testing a good deal of asparagus recipes over the past week or so. I made a farro salad with chopped grilled asparagus and tomatoes. I tried a Parmesan-crusted baked asparagus recipe, but still can't quite manage to keep the crust to stay fully on the asparagus. {I may keep working on that one because it was very tasty.}

After testing this particular recipe for this post, I came to the conclusion, however, that I really prefer keeping things pretty simple and uncomplicated when it comes to asparagus. This recipe really highlights asparagus. Just a few other ingredients amp up the dish. Greek yogurt is mixed with lemon juice, salt, pepper, honey and a little za'atar {a Middle Eastern Spice Blend}, then drizzled on top of the grilled asparagus. Maple walnuts top it all off for come crunch and sweetness. It's a beautiful, quick side dish that I'm sure asparagus lovers are sure to savor and enjoy.

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Yields 2 - 3 servings.


3 ounces plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon za'atar spice blend
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
Drizzle of honey {optional, but recommended}
20 - 25 stalks asparagus, ends trimmed
Olive oil
1/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
Lemon slices/wedges, for garnish {optional}


Mix together yogurt, lemon juice, za'atar, pepper and salt in a small bowl. Drizzle in a little honey {recommended} if you desire a touch of sweetness to balance out the tangy flavor of the Greek yogurt. Taste and adjust seasoning and/or honey. Set aside.

Heat an indoor grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat asparagus with oil. Grill asparagus until desired tenderness is reached - flipping occasionally. {For crisp-tender asparagus, cook 5 - 8 minutes. For fork-tender, soft asparagus, cook 8 - 11 minutes.} Season with salt.

Meanwhile, place walnuts in a small sauté pan set over low heat. Toast 1 - 2 minutes - tossing/stirring occasionally. Pour in maple syrup. Toss/stir to coat. Continue cooking 1 - 2 minutes - frequently stirring - until nuts are well-coated and sticky. Be careful not to burn.

When asparagus has reached desired doneness, transfer to a plate or serving platter. Dollop or drizzle yogurt mixture over asparagus. Sprinkle nuts on top. Garnish with lemon slices/wedges at time of service.

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