Grilled asparagus with pancetta and hazelnut salsa


  • 1 each Shallot, finely diced
  • 2 tsp Red wine vinegar (see note)
  • As needed Freshly ground black pepper
  • As needed Salt
  • As needed Cooking oil, olive or vegetable
  • 6 Oz Pancetta (/recipes/pancetta)
  • 1 each Garlic clove
  • 3 to 4 each Sage leaves
  • 2 TBS Fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 C Hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
  • As needed Olive oil
  • 11/4 Lb Asparagus, boiled in salted water until tender (see note)
  • As needed Lemon
  • As needed Green leaves


1. Prepare a hot grill.

2. Combine shallot, vinegar, pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt and let marinate for 5 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, cut pancetta into 2 to 3 thick slices, then cut across into little strips. Heat a small skillet to medium and add 1/2 tablespoon cooking oil and pancetta. Cook, stirring occasionally, until pancetta is transparent and browning on edges, or until crispy, if you prefer. Drain and set pancetta aside.

4. Pound garlic clove and sage leaves with a pinch of salt. In a small bowl, mix parsley, garlic and sage paste, hazelnuts, pancetta, marinated shallots, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Stir, taste, adjust and set aside.

5. Coat asparagus with cooking oil and season with salt. When fire is ready and grates are hot and clean, grill asparagus until it is nicely colored and tender. Remove it from grill, dress it with a squeeze of lemon and splash of olive oil and arrange it on a warm platter. Spoon half of salsa over asparagus and pass the rest at the table.

This recipe was adapted for Plate from A Recipe for Cooking by Cal Peternell (William Morrow Cookbooks, 2016). Two teaspoons red wine vinegar can be substituted with 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar and 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar. Before boiling asparagus, snap off tough ends and, if stalks are fat, peel lower two­thirds. Instead of grilling, asparagus can be roasted in a 450­degree F oven.

Source: Recipe courtesy of Plate Online