Vegan Grilled Asparagus with Spring Onion-Radish Butter

Yield: 4 servings (you’ll have a bit of extra butter)

A gift of garden fresh asparagus from my husband’s colleague, Freddie Stant, inspired this dish.  Be prepared for a new late spring favorite!

I knew I wanted to grill the asparagus and I knew I wanted something special on top, but that special something eluded me until I thought of the simplest and most elegant appetizer:  radishes spread with fresh creamy butter and a garnish of sea salt.  Perfect!

I simply mashed the vegan butter with the back of a fork and folded in finely diced radish and thinly sliced spring onion.  Because the butter I use is already salted, I went easy on the sea salt.  Then I dolloped the butter-vegetable mixture on the warm asparagus, allowing it to just barely start to melt.

Oh my goodness, this dish is amazing!

Vegan Spring Onion-Radish Butter:

1/4 cup vegan butter (I like Earth Balance), if too firm to mash, allow to warm slightly at room temperature

1/4 cup thinly sliced spring onion

1/3 cup thinly sliced and then diced radish (about 3)

Grilled Asparagus:

1 pound of asparagus, rinsed, drained and trimmed

1 tablespoon of olive oil

Sea salt (consider hand-grated pink Himalayan salt for the garnish)

Optional veggie garnish: 1 plump radish

In a medium-size bowl, mash butter with the back of a fork and gently fold in onion and radish until well combined.  Set aside.  Spray a seasoned grill pan with non-stick spray–or brush with olive oil–and preheat over medium-high.  In a large bowl or shallow pan, toss asparagus with olive oil and season lightly with sea salt.  Grill asparagus in one layer for approximately 8 minutes on each side or until lightly charred and crisp-tender.  Grill in two batches, if necessary, keeping first batch warm in the oven until second batch is finished cooking.  Place asparagus on a serving platter, top with butter mixture, sprinkle lightly with sea salt (hand-grated pink Himalayan salt would be fabulous!), top with optional whole radish, and serve immediately.  Store any leftover butter in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Note: this brand new recipe isn’t in my just-published cookbook, but there are 150+ similarly fresh, beautiful, and seasonal dishes you and yours will love.

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Vegan Backyard Barbeque

Memorial Day will be here before we know it. For a vegan menu that is cause for celebration, check out this link to a feature I wrote for The Virginian-Pilot:

The article includes the following recipes:
-Grilled Basic Vegan Burgers, Soy Cheese Burgers
– Vegan Cowboy Steaks
-Grilled Corn on the Cob with Soy Herb Butter
-Grilled Veggie Kebabs

For the grilled pound cake, try the pound cake recipe at http://aveganfordinner.

Photo Credit: Bill Tiernan
Photo Styling: Betsy DiJulio

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