Grilled Green and Purple Asparagus

Apr 2, 2013 by

Grilled_Green_and_Purple_AsparagusI had never bought or eaten purple asparagus until this past week. To be honest, I was looking to purchase two big bunches of green asparagus at the store, but I could only find one that met my standards.

Enter the purple asparagus.  A bit of a culinary enigma to me, it was more expensive per lb, but intriguing nonetheless.  Into the cart it went, and suddenly added to my Easter Sunday menu was this Grilled Green and Purple Asparagus.

You may be saying to yourself right now, ummm, there is only green asparagus in the picture.

Looks can be deceiving. The thicker stalks are the purple ones, but who knew they’d look identical to the green ones when grilled!!

Although my research indicated they should be slightly sweeter and more tender than the green, a very scientific taste test performed by myself and my sister in law suggested otherwise. However, the ones I bought were fairly thick so I suspect that might explain why they tasted more like a thin green asparagus?  The reasoning being that thicker usually translated to a bit tougher and more bitter?

But they were really pretty when they were sitting in the dish in a light coating of olive oil, salt and pepper and garlic powder waiting to be grilled.  Very pretty. Several family members noted it.

But I have to say that the next time I serve purple asparagus, I will be steaming it or shaving it and serving it raw to preserve that purple color.

Now the key to grilling asparagus generally is to pay attention to the thickness of the stalk. Thin stalks can take a mere minute per side, while thicker ones can take double or triple the time.  You’ll need to coat the asparagus with a light coating of olive oil.  If you drown them in oil, you will have yourself a nice grease fire and a blackened, probably carcinogenic asparagus.

I have been known to place them directly on the grill, running perpindicular to the grill rack. When you see the outer skin start to sizzle and blacken every slightly, flip them.  For thicker stalks, you want them to soften a bit, but not be limp or mushy.  They should retain a sense of crispness even as they tenderize and soften with the grilling process.

Grilled Green and Purple Asparagus
Recipe type: Side
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
  • 2 bunches asparagus (green or purple varietals)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt (large flakes)
  • ¼ tsp ground pepper
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a ziploc bag or grill safe dish. Toss asparagus to evenly coat.
  2. Grill asparagus for 1-3 minutes per side depending on thickness of the asparagus.
  3. Serve warm or at room temperature.


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1 Comment

  1. Just remind all of you the olive oil could make a fire when burn, so better you marinade them first before grilled them. Easy for snack in the night with some wine.

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