Griddled asparagus with preserved lemons

Asparagus with preserved lemons

Gavin Wren Recipes, Side dishes, Starters, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Today’s recipe is so simple, it’s hard to think of a reason not to try it. If you were already planning to cook some of the lovely fresh asparagus that’s in season at the moment, then this simple addition adds a cheery extra dimension yet almost no extra work. And if you can’t get preserved lemons, even though the ‘cooks selection’ at many supermarkets now stock, they’re incredibly easy to make, so you could have a go yourself. In fact, I can begin to feel a blog post coming on…

Asparagus cooking on a griddle

Have you ever searched for recipes based on number of ingredients involved, working on the assumption that less = easier life? Well that’s what I wanted to do here. If this dish had less ingredients, it would only be asparagus left, and I’m not sure where the semantics of the word ‘recipe’ draw their line, before it no longer qualifies as a recipe.

The simple addition of some preserved lemons to the asparagus elevates this above and beyond plain grilled asparagus, yet does nothing to hinder the swift execution of getting your fresh asparagus from cupboard to plate. It would work beautifully as a starter or equally hold it’s own perfectly well at the side of a piece of fish or white meat.

Asparagus cooked on a griddle

Using a griddle to cook asparagus is tantalisingly easy, giving you the slightly charred, summery reminiscence of BBQs, without needing to get your hands dirty with charcoal.

And if you don’t own a griddle pan, I’ve put together a few top tips of what to look for when buying one…

Griddle (grill) pan buying guide

  • Get a heavy, cast iron one. Heavy ones retain their heat very well, so cook the food better.
  • Square ones are good for one or two people, however if you ever cook for more, then get a double width version, such as this, which will give you lots of space.
  • Double sided versions give you two cooking surfaces to use, ridged or flat.
  • Rub oil all over it, and heat well over a medium heat before use.
  • Do not scrub with detergent, just clean with a paper towel, or water and salt.
  • Do not get a non stick version. This applies to woks as well. Find a good quality, bare metal item and it will last you a lifetime.
  • Do not get a light, pressed metal type. Lightweight grill pans loose all their heat when you add the food and develop hot spots, so don’t achieve the same level of ‘griddledness’ on your food.

So all that’s left to do is let you know how to make this dish, enjoy!

Griddled asparagus with preserved lemons

Asparagus with preserved lemons


Serves 2 as a starter or side dish

Uses 1 pot

PDF recipe card to download or print


A bunch of asparagus
A couple of preserved lemons
Olive oil


Heat a griddle pan over a medium heat for several minutes until well heated throughout.

Cut the asparagus into ~2 inch pieces, then toss with a little bit of olive oil, just enough to lightly coat.

Cook on the griddle for about 5 minutes, moving around a couple of times, until cooked and charred in places.

Chop the lemons into small pieces, then toss with the cooked asparagus. Serve, seasoned with salt and pepper.

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