Tag Archive for Asparagus

Grilled Side Dishes

Grilled Romaine Salad

To continue with our grilling series this week, today we have our favorite grilled side dishes! Please don’t think that the only side dishes you can make are grilled vegetables! Some of our favorites require a combination of using the grill and putting the finishing touches on in the kitchen. 

Green Tomato Caprese Salad

Grilled Mushrooms in Butter

Mexican Style Grilled Corn

Fire Roasted Tomatillo and Poblano Salsa

Grilled Romaine Salad with Tomato and Corn Tumble

Grilled Asparagus with Hollandaise

Grilled Polenta

Grilled Peaches



Asparagus Wrapped in Prosciutto with Parmesan

asparagus wrapped in prosciutto with parmesan

Asparagus becomes more and more popular every year it seems, especially now that you can get quality, fresh asparagus year round. Long gone are the days of soggy, mushy and stinky canned asparagus. Thank goodness for airplanes and supply chains!

This is a simple, delicious and elegant dish you can do anytime. It tastes great with just about any main dish. Due to its versatility, I often bring asparagus wrapped in prosciutto to potluck suppers (everyone hates bringing the green vegetable except me!) or bring it to a friend in need of a nice warm meal.

It is very simple, can be done in advance (except for the last minute cooking), looks amazing, and tastes even better. To be truthful, I often use Speck instead of prosciutto which is really just smoked prosciutto. I like the flavor it adds even better!

Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Time Required:Prep Time – 2 minutes per serving; Cook Time – 5-8 mins


1 slice of prosciutto or speck per serving

3-5 spears of asparagus per serving

Parmigiano Reggiano

Olive oil



Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

Vegetable Peeler to peel the asparagus and the cheese

How to make asparagus wrapped in prosciutto with parmesan:

First, you must prepare the asparagus. People flip out over asparagus that is crisp and tender at the same time. Many folks have never had it that way. So, you must peel it and hydrate it. Check out our post on how here. It is so worth it!!

Next layout a piece of the prosciutto and then place 3-5 spears of asparagus on top.

asparagus with speck and parmigiano reggiano

Wrap the prosciutto around the spears and place seam side down on a baking sheet. I generally line this with parchment paper so it won’t stick. Repeat for all the servings. Depending on what else you are cooking, you can count on 1-2 per person.

asparagus wrapped with prosciutto and topped with parmesan

When ready to cook, preheat oven to 450 degrees. Drizzle the bundles of asparagus wrapped in prosciutto with olive oil, salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Using the vegetable peeler, slice off slivers of parmesan cheese. Cook for about 5-8 minutes to your desired look and feel.

asparagus wrapped in prosciutto with parmesan


You could use Parma ham too!

Meal Ideas:

I like this with pork tenderloin and scalloped potatoes.

I bet this would also be a fantastic dish when you are hosting or going to a party that is “heavy appetizers!” ~Denise

Menu for Special Dietary Needs : Interfaith Group of 66

Menu for special dietary needs

About a month ago, I was approached by the director of an interfaith group called World Pilgrims to see if McNack’s was interested in catering a dinner for their group. Although we don’t typically cater, the group was so interesting, we decided to make an exception. See, this organization brings together folks from many different religions so that they may work together to better understand each other’s religious views and go on joint pilgrimages together. The group consists of Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and more.

With this combination of religions came a fairly long list of special dietary needs. Certainly no beef or pork. About a dozen in the group kept Kosher. A few vegans also. Oh, and one allergic to garlic!

Denise and I put our heads together and came up with this great meal. We served 66 delightfully appreciative pilgrims without dairy, beef, pork, fish (they had that at their last meeting), or garlic! And it still tasted good!! How about that?!

Menu for special dietary needs:

dietary restrictions Denise in the kitchen[/caption]

Grilled Asparagus With Hollandaise Sauce

Grilled Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce

When I asked my husband what green vegetable he wanted with the beef tenderloin, he immediately said he wanted grilled asparagus with hollandaise sauce. Fantastic!! Asparagus is going down in price this time of the year and it is absolutely delicious on the grill… not to mention that it is a great accompaniment to a nice piece of beef. Note to Melissa: Please skip over the part about how I make the hollandaise sauce. It might make you throw up a little bit in your mouth. 

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 15 min; Marinate time – 30 min; Cook Time – 5 min.


For Asparagus

1 bunch asparagus

1/4 c. balsamic vinegar

Olive oil (just enough for a drizzle)

Salt and Pepper

For Hollandaise Sauce:

1 package of Knorr Hollandaise Sauce Mix

Milk and butter according to package

Juice of 1/2 lemon (if desired) 

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

Good quality vegetable peeler

Medium Sauce Pan

Wire Whisk

Preparing Grilled Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce:

Prepare your asparagus.   In a baking dish, toss your asparagus with balsamic vinegar and a drizzle of olive oil. Add salt and pepper and mix well. Let sit at least 30 minutes before cooking. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Grill for about 5 minutes, turning halfway through. Meanwhile, follow the directions on the hollandaise sauce. It only takes about 5 minutes to make so the sauce will be done about the same time that the asparagus is (asparagus doesn’t have to be eaten right after it’s cooked anyway). Pour the sauce over the asparagus and voila! 

Grilled Asparagus

Important Tips:

Make sure you prepare the asparagus properly. It really does make a huge difference. It can be done the day before or even in the morning before you go to work if you want!

Oh dear Lord!! Seriously, powdered Hollandaise? What are you going to add next, how to make instant mashed potatoes? I think you can buy asparagus in Hollandaise in the freezer section too. You could have just put the entire package on the grill and been done. ~ Melissa

I warned you not to read it!!! -Denise

Peas and Asparagus: An awesome recipe with asparagus

recipe with asparagus

I’m always trying to think of new ways to prepare some of my family’s favorite green vegetables. Somehow, I’ve been lucky enough to have a family who loves asparagus. I have a great cold salad recipe for snow peas and asparagus (I need to make that and post it sometime!), so I thought a warm side dish with regular peas might be nice too. Plus, it was my turn to bring a green vegetable for my monthly potluck dinner with a group of friends and I thought this recipe with asparagus would do the trick.

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 20min; Cook Time – 10-12 min

Ingredients for about 20:

3 bunches of asparagus

16oz frozen peas

3T butter, divided

2 shallots, diced

1 T Dried basil

2t red pepper flakes

salt and pepper

drizzle of olive oil

How to make peas and asparagus:

Finely dice the shallots and add to a large skillet with 1 T of the butter. Saute until tender.

While they are sautéing, cut the bottom 1-2 inches off of your asparagus and discard. Then, slicing on a bias, cut the asparagus into small, pea sized pieces.

When the shallots are tender, add the remaining 2 T butter, asparagus, olive oil and spices. Stir to incorporate everything together and cover on medium heat for about 5 minutes.

Uncover, add the frozen peas, stir and cover again for about 5 more minutes. Check the tenderness of the asparagus and cook for a couple of more minutes or until desired tenderness. Serve and enjoy.

Since I was going to a potluck, they had to hold for about an hour. I loosely covered with foil so the steam would not stay in and keep cooking them. They tasted great luke warm too!

Important Tips:

Cutting the asparagus on a bias will make them ‘prettier’. Not sure what a bias is? Watch our video!


Roasted Asparagus and Tomatoes with Shaved Parmesan

Easy Asparagus Recipe

Roasted Asparagus and Tomatoes with Shaved Parmesan is quick, easy, beautiful and delicious. I like to serve this around Christmas (green and red) but it is a quick and easy side. It also highlights all the great flavors of asparagus.


1 bunch of asparagus, prepared
1 pint of grape tomatoes
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper
Shaved Parmigiano Reggiano (use a vegetable peeler to shave it)

Preparing Roasted Asparagus and Tomatoes with Shaved Parmesan:

Prepare the asparagus like indicated in our previous post. Top with whole grape tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and fresh cracked pepper. Toss to coat. Add shaved Parmigiano Reggiano using a peeler. Roast in a 450 degree oven for about 5-7 minutes. Serve immediately.

That’s it.

Need something to bring to a potluck? Hosts always need green vegetables and people don’t like to bring them. This is a great one to bring IF you check with the host to ensure you can have the oven for 10 minutes prior to dinner. Otherwise, bring something else.

Menu Idea: Pork Tenderloin, Asparagus with Dijon Vinaigrette and Roasted Red Potatoes

Easy Menu IdeasMenu

Asparagus with Dijon Vinaigrette
Grilled Pork Tenderloins
Roasted Red Potatoes

Total Cook Time:

Marinate Pork Tenderloin – 1hr – overnight
Cook time – 1 hour

Shopping List

Quantities are for 4 servings
2 pork loins (1 package)
1 bunch of asparagus
12-15 baby red potatoes
Small piece of fresh ginger
Small bunch of green onions

Do you have this in your pantry, if not, add to shopping list

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Red Wine Vinegar
Soy Sauce (low sodium preferred)

Important Tip:

Did you know you don’t have to buy the entire root of ginger at the grocery store? You can break off a piece the size of what you need and just buy that.


Make the marinade for the pork tenderloin and marinate the pork

Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Start the grill on high heat
Take pork tenderloin out of refrigerator to get to room temperature
Prepare potatoes and put in oven
Prepare asparagus (wash, trim, peel and soak) See How to Prepare Asparagus
Make Dijon vinaigrette for asparagus
Gas Grill: Turn grill to medium heat / Charcoal Grill: Spread out coals
Put pork on grill and follow recipe for time/turning instructions
When pork is cooked, take off grill and let rest 10 minutes.
By this time, the potatoes are probably done or close to it. Just watch and take out when ready.
About 3 minutes before ready to eat, cook the asparagus, drain off water and add vinaigrette
Slice pork.
Serve and Enjoy!!!

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