Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush. ~Doug Larson
Living on the edge of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, I’ve seen snow every month of the year. Sounds impossible to most folks, but it often warms up for the many false springs (and sometimes summers) we love and then turns stormy bitter overnight. July 4 can bring mountain snow, though probably not down here in the Springs. We once sat through an outdoor July concert in Woodland Park until we couldn’t stand the blowing snow anymore and ran down the hill to McDonald’s for coffee. (Not a lot of choices.) We never put away our jeans and sweatshirts and we keep a coat, a candle with matches, a bottle of water, and a chocolate bar in the car 365 days a year. You’ve heard this tale.
Still, like most Americans, we dream of spring in March, and hey, we sometimes get a little. It was 65 the other day and, inside the house it was above 70. Turned the oven on to bake bread (Irish Soda, of course) and the kitchen was soon 75. Two days later, it snowed all day long and we were building fires, warming up soup, and snuggling our toes inside wool socks. Ah, Colorado: no water and weird weather. Not always a good combination. Praise God for central heat and gas stoves and food trucked in to places where it can’t be grown. I guess?
Friday night, as I set the table and lit the candles, I knew I had a light meal that needed either an appetizer or dessert. As I’m currently cutting my caloric intake by 25% a day in a concerted effort to seek health, I decided on a vegetable appetizer. A pound of asparagus bored to death in the frig had a little bit to do with it; I’ll give that to you. I never tire of grilled asparagus (or as my good friend Sue says, “I’d pay anything for it.”) and, given the time constraints (dinner was almost done and Dave had begun the music), grilled sounded good. I promise I won’t blog asparagus anymore this spring. (Fingers crossed.)
When I shot this pic, I realized I probably didn’t even need to do it. No doubt there were multiple shots of grilled asparagus stored on the computer. Finding them (my photos need organizing pretty badly) was another story. I clicked two times and above you see one of those. Gives you an idea of my skill level.
These were skiiiiiiiiiiiinneee asparagus (doesn’t equate with good or tender), so I knew they wouldn’t take long to grill, and, while I like them almost done, I don’t want them limp. Time to think of a dip, a sauce, a topping, a …whatever. I’m crazy about fresh lemon squeezed over asparagus; it’s one of my favorite things. Kinda old, though, Alyce. What else? Some finely chopped peppered cashews? Hmmm. Getting better. What about salsa? Atypical. What about salsa and Greek yogurt? Hepped up with garlic?
Sounding better all the time and was quick as spit.
Here’s how I did it:
Grilled Asparagus with Tex-Mex Dip
1# fresh asparagus, washed and trimmed
1T olive oil
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
1 c plain, non-fat Greek Yogurt (or any plain yogurt will do)
1/3 c best quality salsa (make sure it’s gluten-free)
pinch each table salt and fresh ground pepper
1 clove garlic, grated or smashed well
Heat grill outdoors or stovetop grill to medium-high. Brush with olive oil and lay asparagus on grill in an even layer. Sprinkle with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Grill, turning once, for 8-10 minutes. Meantime, make dip:
In a small bowl, mix yogurt, salsa, salt and pepper, and garlic. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Place grilled asparagus on serving platter with a bowl of dip and enjoy.