As much as I love to cook and experiment with flavors, sometimes, there’s nothing better than returning to the simplest forms of cooking. When ingredients are kept to a minimum, you can really appreciate the flavors of your vegetables and meats to their fullest. There is no masking — it is pure. Best of all, it is easy.
Salt. Pepper. Olive Oil. And a splash of balsamic vinegar. When I am in a rush, that’s all I need. My asparagus gets a nice toss in this simple treatment. Same goes for some hefty pork chops.
In a matter of minutes, the grill works its magic.
When I cook like this, it reminds me: good food does not have to be complicated. How else would I be able to taste the sweetness of this season’s tender asparagus, brought out by a sprinkling of salt and a drizzle of inky balsamic? How else could an effortless plate still be so alluring?
What are your favorite ways to enjoy summer meals simply?
Grilled Balsamic Asparagus
This hardly seems a recipe, but perhaps that's what I love best about it. Just the basics, no frills. And it leaves you more time to enjoy the summer evenings.
1 pound asparagus
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, divided
Prepare the grill, preheating to high heat.
Trim the tough ends of the asparagus and discard. Toss the asparagus in the olive oil, and season generously with salt and pepper, tossing to evenly coat the vegetables. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar.
Grill the asparagus on high heat for about 6 minutes, until the asparagus are just fork tender, rotating periodically. Transfer to a serving dish and drizzle with a little additional balsamic vinegar.