In my house, the dude is NOT the grill master, it’s this dudette (thumbs pointing at myself). Nothing makes me happier than sweating bullets in the hot Missouri sun standing in front of a flaming veggie-covered grate with my face about to melt off from the heat of the grill, tongs in one hand and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc in the other. It’s pure joy. I get so stoked when spring arrives because one of my favorite things to grill is asparagus, I could eat mountains of it…and when you combine them with grilled portabella mushrooms, blue cheese, balsamic syrup, and garlicky pasta the birds sing, rainbows beam, and fairies flutter about doing a happy dance…at least that’s what happens in my head…what, too much wine?
Ok, let’s get it on! Grilling, that is.
Ingredient gathering (oops, forgot the Worcestershire sauce & brown sugar):
I used Maytag Blue Cheese; it’s made in Iowa, my home state…represent!
Marinating mushrooms and prepping veggies for the grill:
Making a quick and easy pasta sauce, aglio e olio (garlic and oil):
Get yo grill on!
Grill marks make me smile:
Grilled Spring Veggie Pasta
3 portabella mushrooms (I had 2, plus 2 large cremini mushrooms)
marinade (see below)
one bunch of spring onions
one bunch of asparagus
2 roasted red peppers, cut into strips (I had jarred ones on hand)
3/4 lb of linguini or spaghetti
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling (I always use extra virgin)
red pepper flakes
salt & pepper
balsamic syrup (see below)
Start by making the balsamic syrup and marinade. Place the mushrooms in the marinade bag, close it, and massage the marinade onto the mushrooms. Let set for 20 – 30 minutes at room temperature.
Preheat the grill to medium-high. On a baking sheet, spread out the asparagus and onions, drizzle with oil, salt and pepper and use your hands to toss them, coating them in the oil.
Grill the mushrooms stem-side down for about 10-15 minutes, flip, turn the heat down to medium-low and add the onions and asparagus. Grill onions and asparagus for 5 – 10 mintues (depending on thickness of each) and flip and grill another 5 – 10 minutes until cooked through.
Meanwhile, boil the pasta according to package instructions. Heat 1/3 cup of olive oil over medium-low heat in a small skillet, add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 – 2 minutes. Remove from heat. When pasta is done cooking, drain and return to pot. Add the garlic oil and toss. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Arrange pasta, grilled veggies, and the roasted peppers on a platter. Crumble blue cheese over everything and drizzle with the balsamic syrup.
One recommendation my husband and son made was to cut the grilled veggies into bite sized pieces before serving; it makes it easier to eat with the pasta. Enjoy!
Combine 1 cup of balsamic vinegar and 1/4 cup of brown sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes, until reduced by half and thickened.
There’s no exact measurement to this, so adjust to your taste. In a 1-gallon plastic baggie, combine balsamic vinegar (about 3-4 tablespoons), several dashes of Worcestershire sauce, a few pinches of salt and pepper, 2 large garlic cloves minced, and about 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil. Close the bag, shake, taste and adjust seasoning.