Saturday, May 15, 2010

Grilled Asparagus with Roasted Red Pepper Aioli

Aioli: A really easy, delicious sauce that is often thought of as intimidating. At least it was for me. But it isn't hard at all, especially if you have a food processor. This aioli recipe is quite flexible. You can change out the red peppers for something else, like roasted garlic or basil, for example. And you can also change the vinegar. One thing I want to play with is adding horseradish. I can see that as being really delicious.

This was a dish I made a few weeks before I had the baby. It is one of the few things that came from my kitchen and it killed me. For some reason, the last few weeks before having Violet were really difficult. My body was just "done". The muscles in my thighs throbbed, my hips were weak and my back ached all the time. It was especially frustrating for me because I have had two other pregnancies that have been easy. But boy was Violet's a different story. Once delivery came, I welcomed it wholeheartedly. When I did cook before I had Violet, it would knock me out for the rest of the day. Luckily, I have a husband that can cook and he made sure the boys and I didn't eat Cheerios and buttered toast with honey all the time.

For the aioli:
1/4 cup roasted red bell peppers
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp kosher salt
1 garlic clove
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 1/4 cup safflower oil

In the bowl of a food processor, combine roasted red peppers, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, salt, garlic, egg and egg yolk. Process until smooth. With the machine running, slowly add the oil. The aioli will thicken. Scrape aioli into a small bowl and refrigerate until serving. Serve aioli along side grilled asparagus.

For the asparagus:
1 bunch asparagus, touch ends trimmed off
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp kosher salt
A few grinds black pepper

Set grill to medium heat.

In a large bowl, toss asparagus with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Grill the asparagus for 8-10 minutes, rolling over once, until lightly charred and tender.

Serve with roasted red pepper aioli.

Rookie's Notes: You will have leftover aioli. But it won't be hard to use. You can serve it over roasted potatoes or steamed vegetables. With my leftovers, I transferred all of it to a squeeze bottle and put it on a pastrami sandwich. Holy aioli delicious.

When a recipe says to trim off the tough ends of the asparagus, this is what I do. Hold one of the pieces on each end and bend it until it breaks. Where it breaks will be where the tender part meets the tough part. Use that piece to measure the others and cut them all the same length as the first one.



Kalyn said...

This really sounds fantastic!

Lindsay said...

I am so making this!!! Yummy, thanks for sharing.

rabidrunner said...

"Holy aioli" - that was clever.

Rachel said...

I've been reading for awhile and just forget to post. I made this dish yesterday and I was blown away. At first I was doubtful that I could do it, then that I would like it. But I succeeded at both! I loved it and felt like a super chef. Thanks for the confidence boost! Off I go to conquer the world!

Sarah said...

I have never made an aioli - maybe I will now.

sarah22277 said...

This is also excellent with shrimp instead of cocktail sauce.