I had a little staycation in Los Angeles last week where I caught up with family and friend – including a girls' night out, some culture at the Getty Center, and perfecting my recipe for a Strawberry Moscow Mule.
One of my favorite creations that came out of the weekend was this charred asparagus recipe. One of the great culinary truths (according to me) is that like bacon, burrata makes anything better -- so it's kind of hard to go wrong anytime burrata is involved. But, if I do say so, this Charred Asparagus with Mint Gremolata recipe is a particularly delicious appetizer andyou absolutely can't have it any other way but this with charred, sweet asparagus, fresh mint gremolata, and lemon olive oil.
, woody ends trimmed and discarded
plus more for garnish
or pine nuts
from 1 lemon
grated or pressed
roughly torn or cut with sharp scissors
Bring a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Meanwhile, brush the asparagus with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Meanwhile, toast the pine nuts in a 350°F oven or in a small frying pan over medium heat until dark brown but not burned, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
You could toast the pine nuts up to 2 days ahead of time; store covered at room temperature in an airtight container.
Brush the bread with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil then grill the bread in the grill pan or toast it until golden brown, about 5 minutes total. Add the asparagus to the grill and briefly cook, turning rarely, until charred on the outside and just knife tender (exact timing depends on the thickness of your asparagus) but about 3 minutes for thin asparagus.
The toast could be prepared up to 12 hours ahead. Store it at room temperature in an airtight container until ready to use.
Set the asparagus aside to cool briefly and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Meanwhile, combine chop the pistachios (not necessary if using pine nuts) then combine stir together with the lemon zest, and garlic. Gently stir in the mint, drizzle with a bit of oil and set aside.
To serve, place charred asparagus on a plate with burrata, scatter gremolata over the top, drizzle with olive oil and a dash of salt and serve.
If you have a good quality infused oil, consider using it here for garnish. I like using a Meyer lemon oil with this dish.
Food styling and photography by Aida Mollenkamp