Grilled asparagus with almond pangrattato is a simple summer side dish with just a few ingredients. My kids love pangrattato (Italian for breadcrumbs), so I always make extra to sprinkle on pasta or leafy salads. I’ve added roasted almonds and lemon zest to my pangrattato. Other nuts, such as hazelnuts, macadamias or pistachios are delicious too. I served this dish for our family Christmas lunch. To save time, I made the pangrattato a day ahead. Serve the dish with the asparagus straight from the grill, or at room temperature.
Ancient Greeks and Romans used asparagus for both culinary and medicinal purposes. In fact, there is a recipe for aparagus pie in ‘Apicicus,’ the oldest known recipe book in Western civilisation.
When buying asparagus, make sure you choose bunches with closed buds – once the buds start to open, they don’t last long. Did you know that the thicker the stem, the older the plant? Older, thicker stalks can be woody, although you can remove the tough outer layer by peeling the skin at the base. Asparagus is often eaten steamed or poached, but I love the flavour when it’s grilled, don’t you?
If you like pangratto, you might like to try this recipe: Roasted Cauliflower with pangrattato
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Grilled Asparagus with Almond Pangrattato
- 4 bunches of asparagus, ends broken off
- 1 lemon, zest and juice
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and grated
- sea salt and black pepper
- To make the pangrattato, preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced) and line two trays with baking paper.
- Toss the breadcrumbs with the lemon zest, grated garlic, 2 tbsp of olive oil, salt and paper. Spread evenly on one tray.
- Spread the almonds on the second tray. Cook both the almonds and the breadcrumbs for about 10 minutes, shaking half way through.
- Allow the almonds to cool, then chop coarsely with a knife and toss into the breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over the grilled asparagus. If making the pangrattato in advance, allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
- To cook the asparagus, preheat the grill to 200°C and line a shallow tray with foil. Lay out the asparagus spears flat, drizzle with the remaining olive oil, season with a little salt and pepper and grill for about 5 minutes.
- Serve the asparagus straight from the grill or at room temperature. Drizzle with the lemon juice, sprinkle with the pangrattato and serve immediately.