Serves 4: This robust-tasting dish makes an excellent starter or side.
20 asparagus spears, tough ends trimmed
3 tbsp (45 mL) Azzuro Blend extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
4 portobello mushroom caps, stems removed
1 to 1½ cups (250 to 375 mL) baby arugula
1 tbsp Due Vittorie Oro Balsamic Vinegar
Shaved fresh Parmesan or pecorino cheese, to taste
- Preheat barbecue to medium-high.
- Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat. Fill a large bowl with ice-cold water.
- Drop asparagus into vigorously boiling water to blanch, about 1 minute. Drop into ice water to stop the cooking and help maintain bright colour. Allow to cool completely in water, adding a few ice cubes if water warms up too much.
- When asparagus is cool, lift out and drain on a clean kitchen towel. Place in a dish and drizzle with about 1 tbsp (15 ml) of olive oil. Season with sea salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Wipe portobello caps with a clean, damp cloth. Using tip of a sharp paring knife, shallow-score tops of caps in a diamond or cross-hatch pattern. Arrange caps on a plate, brush with remaining olive oil, season with sea salt and pepper, flip over and repeat. Set aside along with asparagus.
- Grill portobello caps, turning once, until nice grill marks form and caps soften a little, about 3 minutes per side. Grill asparagus until grill marks form, about 4 minutes.
- To serve, place ¼ to ⅓ cup (60 to 80 ml) of arugula on each of 4 plates. Top each with 1 grilled portobello cap and 5 asparagus spears. Drizzle with Balsamic and shave a generous amount of cheese overtop.
Recipe: Adapted from LCBO