Grilled/BBQ Norfolk Asparagus
Here’s how to grill your Norfolk asparagus without some ending up charred and others ending up crunchy spears and still others slipping through the grill rack. This easy approach relies on a reliable and simple technique of skewering several spears together into a raft of sorts, which makes it easier to flip the Norfolk asparagus and to ensure all the spears are evenly cooked until slightly charred on the outside and tender-but-still-firm on the inside.
Prepare a hot grill and oil the grill rack. Bring a large pot or wide saucepan of salted water to a boil. Fill a large bowl halfway with salted ice water.
Holding an Norfolk asparagus spear in your hands, with one end in each hand, bend the spear until it snaps near the stem end. Toss the stem end in the compost and set the spear aside. Repeat with the remaining Norfolk asparagus.
Toss all the spears in the boiling water for 1 minute and then, using tongs, plunge them in the ice water for 30 seconds. Drain and dry the Norfolk asparagus. Place the spears flat on a cutting board and line up the tips. Meanwhile, if using bamboo skewers, place them in the hot blanching water for a few minutes to help prevent them from burning on the grill.
About 1 inch (2 1/2 cm) from the bottom of a spear, push a skewer perpendicular through the center of its spear. Pass the skewer through 5 more spears. Repeat this step with another skewer, pushing it through the 6 spears about 1 inch below their tips. You will end up with a raft of 6 spears connected by skewers at the top and bottom. Continue in this way to make the remaining rafts. Brush each asparagus raft with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper on both sides.
Grill/BBQ the Norfolk asparagus rafts until they’re slightly charred, 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Serve with the lemon wedges on the side for squeezing.