Make The Most Of The Season With Grilled Asparagus With Ramps & Spring Onions
There are few things we love more than a truly simple recipe that leans into what's available in the season. In his recent cookbook, How To Dress an Egg: Surprising and Simple Ways To Cook Dinner, Ned Baldwin provides a series of recipes, and recipe components that can be combined and mixed to put together perfect meals.
Baldwin calls this dish a "a party for spring vegetables—no other season need apply," which is exactly what it is. Featuring three of the best spring has to offer, this dish makes a perfect accompaniment for a barbecue, and it's just a touch more composed than plain grilled vegetables.
If you need convincing to shop and eat seasonally, it has benefits including better-tasting and more nutritious veggies and being better for the environment. The core veggies in this dish are all in season right now, so look out for them when planning meals and use this recipe for inspiration. Baldwin also recommends adding other spring veggies to the mix if you have them on hand—fiddlehead ferns and morels, anyone?
Grilled Asparagus With Spring Onions & Ramps
For the ramps and onions:
- 6 ramps, trimmed
- 4 spring onions or 2 medium leeks, cut lengthwise in half and well rinsed
- 2 tablespoons good-quality olive oil
- 1 to 2 teaspoons kosher salt
For the parsley-mint-tarragon sauce:
- ½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
- ½ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
For the grilled asparagus:
- 2 to 3 pounds asparagus, trimmed and well rinsed
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Squeeze of lemon
- Prepare the ramps and onions. Preheat the oven to 250°F.
- Toss the ramps and spring onions or leeks with the oil, then lay them out in a single layer in a Dutch oven or other heavy pot with a lid. Cover the pot with foil and place the lid on top of the foil.
- Slide the pot into the oven. Check the vegetables after 60 minutes; they should be super tender. Make a guess about how much longer they need—if at all—and reset your timer if necessary.
- Not all ovens are the same, and neither are all ramps and onions. The long, slow cooking removes every iota of sharpness, rendering the ramps and spring onions or leeks silky and soft. When they are done, remove from the oven and set aside. (Or cover and refrigerate; they will keep for several days. Save the juices for a gravy or sauce.)
- Meanwhile, make the grilled asparagus. Fire up the grill; you want medium-high heat.
- Put the asparagus in a bowl and, using your hands, coat it with just enough oil so that the stalks are slippery. Shower lightly with salt.
- Place on the grill: Put the thicker pieces over the hotter spots and, as you might guess, the thinner pieces over the less hot spots. After 3 to 4 minutes, roll them over.
- Your aim is to cook the asparagus spears all the way through while developing a decent amount of char. You can check doneness by flexibility—the sweet spot if well short of limp. (Tasting works too.)
- Make the parsley-mint-tarragon sauce. Mix the herbs, zest, and olive oil in a small bowl.
- Put the asparagus on a platter and toss with the herb sauce. Rewarm the ramps and spring onions or leeks, add to the asparagus, and toss again. Serve with a squeeze of lemon.