Charred Asparagus with harissa sauce – an easy asparagus recipe that can be ready in less than 10 minutes and wow your family or guests.
I’m from the K.I.S.S. school of keeping it simple stupid. This asparagus recipe fits the bill easily. Grab your skillet, blast the stovetop fire on the highest possible setting and make it happen in a few minutes.
High heat whether from grill, skillet, or broiler can be an effective way to enhance or bring out flavor in simple vegetables. Grilling, charring, blistering, etc. all accomplish the same thing, i.e. add color, texture, and flavor to vegetables/fruits in a matter of a few minutes without overcooking. Outside of a few spices and maybe some citrus, you don’t need much else beyond heat and the vegetable ingredient.
This makes for an easy asparagus recipe, as asparagus is one of the best vegetables for cooking in this manner. Prep is simple, right? I’m just saying, we can all cut off the woodsy part, then clean and dry asparagus. That’s it on the prep part.
The harissa sauce is a no fuss, no brainer, easy peezy one. It’s the same sauce I used previously in this spicy chicken wings recipe. Outside of the harissa paste, I bet you have all the ingredients on hand. If not, there is a ready substitute in your pantry/fridge. For me, my Sunday meal prep is usually making one or two sauces for the week and prepping/chopping any vegetables I’m cooking with for the week. In the case of this harissa sauce, I made a big batch I plan to use it in at least two recipes for the week and what I don’t use I can store and use the next week.
Cooking Steps for an Easy Asparagus Recipe
- Keep in mind once you remove the asparagus from the skillet, it still cooks, so it’s okay to remove the stalks from the skillet a little early.
- You want to move the asparagus in the skillet often enough to cook them evenly, but not so much that you don’t develop any char marks. Remember charring is a flavor move
- If possible buy asparagus that are medium thick or better. The thinner ones will be too flimsy and dainty for the high heat; ones that are too thick will take longer to cook
- Mexican cotija cheese, grated parm, or any other salty cheese makes for a great contrast to the harissa sauce and charred asparagus
- Make sure your oven hood/fan is on
Making Charred Asparagus
If you make this easy asparagus recipe, please come back and leave me a comment below with your feedback. Definitely take a photo of the dish and be sure to tag #foodfidelity so that I can see them.
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For other quick and easy high heat vegetable sides try this Charred Okra or Grilled Sweet Potato Wedges
Charred Asparagus w/ Harissa Sauce
FOR THE ASPARAGUS
- 2 Tbsp. Olive oil
- 1 lb Asparagus trimmed
- Salt and pepper to taste
FOR THE SAUCE
- 1/4 cup Harissa paste
- 1/2 tbsp Lemon juice
- 1 tbsp Rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp Olive oil
- 1/2 tbsp Honey
- Stir harissa paste, lemon juice, honey, olive oil, and vinegar in a small bowl to combine. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over high. Cook asparagus, tossing a few times, until stalks are charred in spots and tender, which should take no more than 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then transfer to a platter. Top asparagus with harissa sauce and optional grated cheese.
Keep in mind once you remove the asparagus from the skillet, it still cooks, so it’s okay to remove the stalks from the skillet a little early.
You want to move the asparagus in the skillet often enough to cook them evenly, but not so much that you don’t develop any char marks. Remember charring is a flavor move
If possible buy asparagus that are medium thickness or better. The thinner ones will be too flimsy and dainty for the high heat; ones that are too thick will take longer to cook
OPTIONAL - Mexican cotija cheese, grated parm, or any other salty cheese makes for a great contrast to the harissa sauce and charred asparagus
Make sure your oven hood/fan is on