Friday, August 14, 2009

94. Grilled Asparagus with Orange-Sesame Vinaigrette

Date Cooked: August 7, 2009
Page: 135
Rating: B-

I almost didn’t realize it but this is my 100th post! While it’s not the 100th recipe posted from the book, that is still to come and a milestone I am looking forward to, it does mark a commitment to something I wasn’t really sure I was going to stick with, especially back in May and June. I’m glad I have stuck with it and I am really enjoying trying new things and learning new (and sometimes basic) techniques. Well on with the show!

You may have noticed that I cook an abundant amount of asparagus from the book. The actual number at this moment is 50 percent of the recipes in the vegetable chapter cooked so far are asparagus recipes. That’s a lot of asparagus! I used to actually hate this stuff. Well this was the last grilled asparagus option in the book so I figured why not give it a try. Sounded tasty!

The recipe is basically a grilled asparagus recipe with a vinaigrette added to it. I started by prepping the vinaigrette. And the very first step to that was to toast some sesame seeds. Toasting seeds… in fact toasting anything in this manner is something I had never done until I started this project. So as I toast each ingredient for the first time I am trying to figure out when something looks done and smells done. I think I may have done a good job with the sesame seeds. Of course I didn’t do anything else while they were toasting for fear they would quickly turn into something akin to tiny pieces of charcoal. Time really does crawl when watching something cook. I think paint drying is more exciting to watch.

Once the seeds were toasted I went to work on the rest of the vinaigrette. The recipe really should just be called, sesame vinaigrette. Along with the toasted sesame seeds, I added toasted sesame oil and tahini along with some olive oil. I also added some rice vinegar and of course some orange juice (freshly squeezed!). Once it was whisked together I took a little taste. I will withhold commenting until later. I let the vinaigrette rest while I finished grilling the asparagus.

Grilling asparagus on my new grill is much easier. They don’t seem to slip through the grate like they did on my old grill. The asparagus was tossed with some EVOO, salt and pepper before being placed on the grill. In about 7 minutes I have nice tender, tasty asparagus.

I then ruined it by pouring some vinaigrette on it.

Rating: B-. The only thing preventing this from being a C is that I like asparagus and it has a strong enough flavor to shine through the vinaigrette. The vinaigrette is strongly flavored of toasted sesame. It needs to be better balanced. I don’t know if it’s the ingredients I used but I ended up mixing in some more orange juice and that did seem to balance it out. I doubt I would make this again as written.

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