once upon a chef
– 2 pounds very thick asparagus, about 24 spears, ends trimmed – 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided – ¼ teaspoon salt – ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper – Zest of 1 lemon – 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, from one lemon – 3 oz feta cheese, crumbled (about ¾ cup)
This grilled asparagus salad is the kind of wholly satisfying dish that makes you wonder if you might be a very happy vegetarian. It’s delicious for lunch or a light bite; all you need to complete the meal is a hunk of warm crusty bread to sop up all the lemon-scented olive oil and feta. You can also serve it as a side dish to grilled fish, chicken or steak.
Preheat the grill to high. While the grill preheats, place the asparagus spears on a foil-lined baking sheet for easy clean-up. Directly on the prepared baking sheet, toss the asparagus with 2 tablespoons of the oil, the salt, and the pepper.
Place the asparagus spears on the grill, making sure they are perpendicular to grates so they don’t fall through. Set the baking sheet near the grill (you’ll need it for the cooked asparagus). Cover and cook the asparagus for 3 to 4 minutes, until nicely browned on one side and still quite crisp. Do not overcook!
Remove the asparagus from the grill and place back on the foil-lined baking dish.
Let the asparagus cool, then transfer the spears to a cutting board and cut on the bias into bite-sized pieces.
Place the cut asparagus in a mixing bowl. Add the remaining tablespoon olive oil, lemon zest, and lemon juice.
Toss gently and then taste and adjust seasoning with more salt, pepper and lemon juice, if necessary. That’s all there is to it! Transfer the grilled asparagus salad to a platter and serve cold or room temperature.