Grilled Asparagus with Desert Lavender

I do like asparagus, and it’s on sale in the supermarket right now. The desert lavender has leafed back out from its winter dormancy – so time to make some yummy food!

Uncle Smokey here today. I’m getting ready for some Memorial Day grilling. About the last grilling for summer because once it’s over 100F in the daytime I tend to NOT go grilling. Instead I’ll be inside – chillin.’


Desert Lavender

Editors Note. We wrote about this wonderful native plant before. Hyptis emoryi, now also called Condea emoryi. The articles were on the site that got hacked and hopefully you kept those recipes because Uncle Smokey used the desert lavender salt we taught you to make when he created this tasty dish.

Grilled Asparagus

Uncle Smokey shares, “I originally I saw this recipe about fourty-eleven years ago on some cooking show – but they baked it in the oven. I simply adapted it for some Southwest grilling.

The ingredients are simple.

Fresh asparagus, olive oil, fresh lemon, and desert lavender salt.


About The Seasoning

I have made a number of herbal salts and tried a few on the grilled asparagus. Lavender pairs the best with asparagus. I thought some of the Mrs. Burns Famous Lemon Basil from Native Seeds/SEARCH would be good – but the basil flavor simply overpowers the delicacy of asparagus.
Other herbs.  Common oregano and the local native plant oreganillo (Aloysia) (which you can forage) are both too strong as well. “Heat” as in chili peppers, is just plain wrong for the tender flavor of asparagus. Maybe you could use some black pepper if you wish.

Wash your asparagus. I use a a little white vinegar in a basin of water.

Step 1. Prepare the asparagus

Wash the asparagus.

Step 2. Snap the Ends

Don’t skip this step. You will not be “wasting” the food. You will be making eating the food a much more pleasurable experience.

Snap the tough end off each stalk by grasping the end and middle of the stalk and bending until it naturally breaks.  Each stalk will break at a different point depending on freshness and thickness of the stalk.   Don’t worry if some are much shorter than others.

The snapped ends need not go to waste. Those tough ends can be cooked and macerated in a blender for a nice soup. Or go into the bag of “vegetable scraps for soup” that lives in the freezer. You could compost them if you’d rather.

Helps if you dry your asparagus. The oil sticks better.

Step 3. Oil the Stalks

After snapping, arrange the stalks in a more or less line. You could use a baking sheet.
Lightly drizzle the asparagus with olive oil.
Roll the asparagus to coat each stalk.

Step 4. Season

Sprinkle the oiled asparagus with desert lavender salt. Or just plain kosher salt, or sea salt. Of the salt and some dried crushed leaves of desert lavender.

Step 5. Lemon savor-the-southwest-grill-lemon

The last step before grilling is to drizzle the asparagus stalks with the juice of fresh lemon. This helps dissolve the salt and infuse the flavor into the olive oil.

Step 6. Cook

Grill for roughly 5 minutes. Exact time depends on how thick the stalks are. Time is also dependant on if you want your asparagus soft or al dente.

If you do this in an oven, 400 F for 10 minutes works.


Step 7. Serve

Best warm. If you want, add an extra squeeze of fresh lemon before serving.

You can also chill and serve cold – but in that case al dente is a much better option.


Other Asparagus Options

You could wrap the asparagus with bacon and grill it.  Just watch for flare ups.

This grilled asparagus pairs well with shrimp treated with the exact same way.  Olive oil and lavender salt then skewered and grilled.


Please feel free to ask questions and share your ideas!  Questions below in the comments or on our Facebook group page.

About 100 NEW copies left!

soule-kino-southwestThe last few copies of this out-of-print award winning Southwestern book are now for sale. Father Kino’s Herbs: Growing and Using Them Today   The review says:

“Award-winning garden writer Dr. Jacqueline A. Soule has pulled together a fascinating book on the life of Father Eusebio Francisco Kino and some of the plants that he brought to Southern Arizona and northwestern Sonora, and area called the Pimeria Alta.”

A steal at only $22!  This link is to our sales site. The profits from the sale go to the local Horticulture Therapy non-profit Tierra del Sol Institute.  We hope you will help support this great Southwest non-profit!

Note.  This price may increase after July 2024 when USPS prices increase.


Legal Notes

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The authors of this website have researched the edibility of the materials we discuss, however, humans vary in their ability to tolerate different foods, drinks, and herbs. Individuals consuming flowers, plants, animals or derivatives mentioned in this blog do so entirely at their own risk. The authors on this site cannot be held responsible for any adverse reaction. In case of doubt please consult your medical practitioner.

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