Be prepared for a new late spring favorite! I knew I wanted to grill the asparagus and I knew I wanted something special on top, but that special something eluded me until I thought of the simplest and most elegant appetizer radishes spread with butter (vegan buttery spread, in this case) and a garnish of sea salt. Oh my goodness, this dish is amazing! Recipe and photo contributed by Betsy DiJulio; adapted from The Blooming Platter.
Serves: 4 to 6
Spring Onion-Radish "Butter:"
- ¼ cup vegan butter (I like Earth Balance)—if too firm to mash,
allow to warm slightly at room temperature
- ¼ cup thinly sliced spring onion
- ⅓ cup thinly sliced and then diced radish (about 3)
- 1 pound of asparagus, rinsed, drained and trimmed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Sea salt (consider hand-grated pink Himalayan salt for the garnish)
- Optional veggie garnish: 1 plump radish
In a medium-size bowl, mash butter with the back of a fork and gently fold in onion and radish until well combined. Set aside. Spray a seasoned grill pan with non-stick spray–or brush with olive oil–and preheat over medium-high. In a large bowl or shallow pan, toss asparagus with olive oil and season lightly with sea salt.
Grill asparagus in one layer for approximately 8 minutes on each side or until lightly charred and crisp-tender. Grill in two batches, if necessary, keeping first batch warm in the oven until second batch is finished cooking.
Place asparagus on a serving platter, top with butter mixture, sprinkle lightly with sea salt (hand-grated pink Himalayan salt would be fabulous!), top with optional whole radish, and serve immediately. Store any leftover butter in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Betsy DiJulio is a longtime vegan and food journalist. An exhibiting artist and board-certified art instructor, she enjoys food styling and photography. Betsy blogs about her vegan delights at TheBloomingPlatter.com.