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Grilled Asparagus with Balsamic Reduction

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Calories: 171
Grilled Asparagus With Balsamic Glaze, pine nuts, and parmesan cheese

We’ve perfected the art of grilled asparagus, and we’re celebrating by dressing it up with a balsamic reduction, parmesan and toasted pine nuts!

Balsamic Glaze—the Beginning of Something Beautiful.

We love a good challenge and one of our favorites is creating new, inventive ways to use up random, half-used ingredients lurking around in our cupboards. This dish of grilled asparagus with balsamic reduction recipe, pine nuts and parmesan was born of such a challenge. We often start our summer season with a big bowl of strawberry ice cream, topped with freshly picked strawberries and a drizzle of sweetly tangy balsamic glaze. After that bowl of deliciousness gets devoured, we immediately start to create ways to use up that bottle of syrupy balsamic sauce.

2 dozen raw asparagus spears on a marble counter

Grilled Asparagus Gets An Upgrade.

The question is not “can I grill asparagus?”, the question is “how often is too often to eat grilled asparagus?” and the answer is that there’s no such thing as too often. When asparagus is in season, we eat it almost nightly. So nice how asparagus season syncs up with the start of grilling season, don’t you think? Serve this elaborate grilled asparagus dish with a simple grilled steak, easy grilled chicken or even a big slab of grilled salmon.

How Long Does it Take to Cook Asparagus on the Grill?

Asparagus should never be cooked for long. Even when cooked in the oven it should never be under the heat for more than eight minutes, unless you’ve found some of the larger 1-inch thick spears. They may need a minute or two longer. Cooking the asparagus longer than eight minutes or so results in a really mushy, unappetizing texture.

When cooking asparagus on the grill over nice high heat, the spears only need to cook for a couple of minutes—maybe three at the most. Then rotate the spears and cook them for another two to three minutes. Quick, right? The main thing is to keep an eye on it as it grills—it’ll cook fast, so just stay with it.


2 dozen grilled asparagus spears on a baking sheet

How To Make Asparagus Crispy on the Grill

There are several recipes out there that suggest wrapping your asparagus in foil before placing it on the grill, but beware. This method traps in the steam released by the water in the asparagus and will NOT result in the crispy texture you desire. Instead, we recommend placing it directly on the grill over high heat. It’s okay to let the flames char the edges a little black is a good thing. Just be sure you don’t overcook it!

spoon drizzling balsamic glaze over a small pot
homemade balsamic glaze in a jar

How To Make Balsamic Glaze

If you’ve never had balsamic glaze then you are in for a treat! Balsamic glaze is simply balsamic vinegar that’s been simmered gently until it reduces to a somewhat sticky syrup. This process cuts the acidic flavor of the vinegar and allows the natural sweetness of balsamic to shine through. Our balsamic glaze recipe enhances that sweetness even further with a bit of honey to make it extra drool-worthy. If you are trying to cut corners, you can go ahead and buy premade balsamic reduction—also known as balsamic glaze—which is available at most grocery stores.

Here are a few more ideas for ways to use up the rest of your balsamic reduction:

  • Drizzled on steak
  • Drizzled on strawberry ice cream
  • Drizzle over your favorite caprese salad
Grilled Asparagus With Balsamic Glaze, pine nuts, and parmesan cheese
Grilled Asparagus With Balsamic Glaze, pine nuts, and parmesan cheese

Tools You’ll Need

What To Serve With Grilled Asparagus.

Grilled Asparagus With Balsamic Glaze, pine nuts, and parmesan cheese

Summer’s Best Asparagus Recipe.

After a generous drizzle of balsamic, a sprinkle of rich, toasty pine nuts, some good parmesan cheese and you’ve basically made yourself an award-winning side dish. Be sure to snap a photo and tag us using @themodernproper or #themodernproper so we can drool along with you!

Grilled Asparagus with Balsamic Reduction

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Calories: 171

Ingredients

Balsamic Reduction

  • 1 cup Balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Sugar or honey
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup Cold water
  • 2 lb Fresh asparagus
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil + more for drizzling
  • 1 tsp Sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup Balsamic reduction
  • 1/4 cup Pine nuts (toasted)
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese

Method

  1. Simmer balsamic vinegar with sugar or honey and salt for 10 minutes, until reduced by half.
  2. Add 2 tsp corn starch into cold water and pour into reduced vinegar. Stir over low heat until sauce thickens. Make ahead and store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks. Warm and stir before using.
  3. Trim and discard tough ends of asparagus. Toss with 1 tbsp of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Preheat grill to high. Once hot, set asparagus directly on grill. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until just cooked, but still slightly crunchy. If working with thicker asparagus, add 1-2 minutes per side.
  5. Transfer asparagus to a serving plate and drizzle with balsamic reduction followed by fresh parmesan, toasted pine nuts and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve immediately.