16 Apr Jonathan Cartu Affirm: Charlotte Chef Greg Collier’s grilled asparagus recipe
Right about now, we’d normally be crowding into Charlotte restaurants with patios to enjoy the fresh air, sunshine and the bounty of local produce that chefs are turning into seasonal dishes. That won’t happen this year, thanks to stay-at-home orders meant to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19.
But not all is lost. Our favorite Charlotte chefs are stepping in to help us fill that gap with recipes we can recreate in our own home cooking. First up is Chef Greg Collier, a James Beard Award semifinalist. who owns Leah & Louise and Uptown Yolk with his wife, Subrina.
His recipe for Grilled Gus with Toasted Almond Vin and Strawberries screams spring. Fresh asparagus and strawberries are both available at the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market, and appointments can be made to pick strawberries under proper social distancing measures at Wise Acres.
“Asparagus and strawberries say spring to me, and I love acid with grilled things,” Collier said. “I love anything almond and strawberries so it made sense to me.”
Grilled Gus with Toasted Almond Vin and Strawberries
2 stalks asparagus
2 green strawberries, sliced
1 radish, sliced
2 red strawberries, sliced
Salt and pepper
Toasted almond vin
1 cup sliced almonds
2 cups champagne vinegar
1 cup plus 2 tbs. oil for sauteing
Salt and pepper
Method of preparation
Preheat grill to medium high. Make almond vin while waiting: Heat a saute pan on medium with 2 tbs. of oil and almonds, then saute until golden brown and fragrant. Add vinegar and remove from heat, then vigorously whisk in oil and add salt and pepper to taste, then set aside.
Next, toss asparagus in oil, and season with salt and pepper (use a deep plate and toss with hands). On the same plate, toss the green strawberries and radish. Place the radish on the grill, cut side down. You want to get a good char on them. Two minutes later, place the asparagus on the grill. Five minutes, later place green strawberries on the grill. After 2 minutes, remove all the veg.
To plate, put the grilled asparagus on plate in a single layer. Toss grilled radish and green strawberries in 3 tbs. of vin. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the vin and veggies on top of asparagus.