Our veg box delivery last week brought us a bunch of asparagus, so we put it to one side to see how well we could cook it on the bbq.
My initial thought was that we could simply grill it over the hot coals, and a little research suggested this would be fine, if we coated them with a little olive oil first.
Ryan suggested that we should make a foil boat and cook them with a knob of butter.
We decided to do both – playing each cooking method off against the other, to see which way would win! A quick trip to the local outdoor store upgraded the tin foil to a pair of reusable, aluminium mess tins, and I made an executive decision to use some dried dill for seasoning.
Mess tin asparagus, with butter and dill
The drama of the occasion was heightened by the fact that it started spotting with rain as soon as Ryan lit the bbq. Would we be able to finish our outdoor cooking experiment, or would it be a wash out? It was a Bank Holiday Monday in England, so of course we couldn’t rely on the weather, and the rain did get a bit heavier. But we persevered (me in a fetching combo of apron and wellies) despite the dampness.
Given that our bucket bbq is small, we couldn’t cook everything at once. The mess tin went on first, and very soon the asparagus spears were sizzling away in a pool of rapidly browning butter. It looked divine! Once the spears were tender, I brought out plates and forks and we did the taste test in the garden, standing over the bbq which was now loaded with oiled asparagus and sections of Cumberland sausage.
Mess tin asparagus, ready to serve
I quickly dispensed with the fork and started eating with my fingers. Boy, those spears were delicious! The portions were far too small, we will definitely be cooking them this way outside again.
Cooking the oiled spears was slightly more challenging, as there was always the risk that they would fall through the grill onto the fire. But Ryan’s expert handling of the tongs meant that disaster was averted. When the sausages were cooked through we brought the rest of the food inside to eat out of the rain.
Grilled asparagus, with Cumberland sausages
We turned our remaining spears and the sausages into posh hot dogs, by wrapping them in tortillas. With a sprinkling of homegrown peashoots, and a glug of tomato sauce, they were the best hot dogs I’ve ever tasted!
The grilled asparagus was far more smokey, and less tender than the mess can version. It was lovely, and I can thoroughly recommend throwing some spears on the grill next time your bbq. But for a real gourmet treat, pop them in a pan with some butter and herbs 🙂
Traditional Cumberland sausage