Grilled Asparagus with Dandelion Butter

Photo and recipe:  Tod Dimmick

This rich, pungent butter offers a tasty counterpoint to Asparagus' assertive flavors.  If any dish can taste "green", this would be it.
Note:  Use only dandelions grown without pesticides.

Prep time:  10 minutes
Cook time:  10 minutes
Serves:  4 as a side dish

1 lb asparagus, cleaned
3 TB olive oil
Salt to taste
1 to 2 cups chopped fresh young dandelion leaves
1/3 cup sliced toasted almonds
3 TB butter
1/2 tsp salt1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 TB olive oil
about 2 TB olive oil

Preheat your grill.  Toss the asparagus with the olive oil.  A large plastic container with a lid, or a large plastic bag, is perfect for this.  Sprinkle asparagus spears with salt, and arrange perpendicular to the grill bars.  Grill for 5-7 minutes, turning once, or until spears are tender crisp.  Arrange on a platter and cover to keep warm.

Preheat a small skillet over medium heat.  Using a food processor equipped with a cutting blade, process the dandelion leaves, almonds, salt, and pepper to a chunky consistency, adding the olive oil in a thin stream to facilitate processing.  Scrape this mixture into the skillet and cook for a minute, stirring. Distribute asparagus to serving plates, and divide the dandelion butter over each serving.

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