My favourite way to cook asparagus is to grill or roast the spears, which intensifies the deliciousness of this spring delicacy. I often serve the asparagus unadorned. But when I want a bit of added brightness I’ll sometimes toss or drizzle the spears with a light, simple vinaigrette.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice

1 tsp creamed or liquid honey

1 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint leaves

2 pounds Ontario asparagus, washed and trimmed
½ tsp kosher salt

Place a large cake-cooling rack over the grates of a gas grill. (This will prevent the asparagus spears from falling through the grates. I keep a rack specifically for this purpose.) Preheat the grill on high.

In a small bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, the lime juice and honey until thoroughly combined. Whisk in the mint; set aside. In a large shallow pan, toss the asparagus with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the salt to coat thoroughly.  Reduce the grill heat to medium-high. Gather together all of the asparagus spears in one bundle and place them onto the rack. Spread out the asparagus in a single layer. Cover the grill and cook until the asparagus is well grill-marked on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully turn each asparagus spear over and cook until the asparagus is tender and just slightly limp, 2 to 3 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the asparagus to a serving platter. Pour over the dressing and toss gently to coat the asparagus. Delicious served warm, at room temperature, or refrigerated. (Surprisingly, both the asparagus and the mint retain their green colour after several hours of refrigeration.)

To roast the asparagus: Place the oil-tossed asparagus in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Roast in a 450º F oven, tossing the asparagus once or twice, until the asparagus is tender and just slightly limp, about 10 minutes.

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