Summer seems to be slowly creeping in, and with more hours of sunlight and a slightly warmer ocean breeze I find myself craving crunchy, fresh stuff and manning the grill. Fennel has a delicate anise flavor, and is tasty raw, but throwing it on the grill brings out some of the natural sweet flavors. I also like to hit this with a little lemon juice right before serving to give it a brighter finish, and it's delicious warm or cold.
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and sliced
Handful cherry tomatoes
2 tbs olive oil
Juice & zest from 1/2 lemon
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Preheat grill on medium. Toss all ingredients together and put in a mesh chef's/grill basket*. Grill for 10-12 minutes, giving it a good toss every now and then so the bottom doesn't burn, until asparagus have softened (this salad is best with a slight crunch, so don't cook for too long.
*I have the one from Williams Sonoma that has a genius removable handle. This makes your life way easier as you don't have to flip every single asparagus spear (because who wants to stand there the whole time?!?!) and you won't lose any through the grates to the fiery depths of your grill.