Grilled Asparagus with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

The vinaigrette can be prepared a day ahead and reheated.  Grapeseed oil and virgin olive  oil can withstand higher temperatures than extra virgin olive oil so they are better choices for grilling and high temperature cooking.

Grilled Asparagus with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

Serves 4 - 6 as a first course or side dish.

  • 1 bunch Ontario asparagus, woody stems snapped off
  • 1 Tbsp virgin olive oil or grapeseed oil 
  • 3 strips of bacon 
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • ⅛ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp sugar 
  • 1 tsp fresh or dried dill
  • freshly ground black pepper and Kosher salt, taste    
  • grated or shaved Parmesan, optional   

To prepare vinaigrette, heat a sauté pan over medium-high.  With kitchen scissors, cut bacon into small pieces over pan or chop with a knife and add to pan.  Brown until just crisp.  Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon reserving 2 Tbsp of bacon drippings in the pan.  If there aren’t enough drippings, add virgin olive oil or grapeseed oil to the pan.  Sauté minced shallot in the drippings until softened.  Reduce the temperature to low and whisk in vinegar, mustard, sugar and dill.  Return crisped bacon to the pan.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  If you make this ahead, keep covered in the fridge and then reheat in a saucepan over low heat until just warmed through.

Preheat grill to hot.  Brush asparagus and the grill with virgin olive oil or grapeseed oil.  Place spears on the grill over direct heat and cook until just tender, turning once, about 5 mins total.  If you don’t have a grill, asparagus can be blanched in boiling water or steamed.

Transfer asparagus to a serving platter and spoon warm vinaigrette over top.  Garnish with grated or shaved cheese, if desired.

 Pair with a Pinot Gris or Sauvignon Blanc.

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