Barton Seaver’s Grilled Asparagus with Spicy Parmesan Sauce

I rarely dress up asparagus; it has such a wonderful flavor that it feels silly to complicate it in any way. But as the first warm months carry on, cooks and farmers eagerly anticipating the next wave of crops begin to grow a little weary of asparagus. For this dish, I drizzle the grilled spears with a sauce that I made up one day when my wife was desperately hungry and the pickins were slim in the kitchen. We had olive oil, hot sauce, and a little grated Parmesan. I mixed them all together to make a dipping sauce for bread, and she loved it! It is now a staple in our house and plays equally well with just about anything.

Grilled Asparagus with Spicy Parmesan Sauce

grilled asparagus with spicy parmesan sauce
Photography by Katie Stoops

(Makes 4 servings)



  1. Bring pot of water to boil and season it generously with salt.
  2. Add asparagus and cook for 1 minute, then drain.
  3. Coat asparagus with ½ tablespoon olive oil, cook spears on grill directly over coals of medium fire until they begin to char, about 4 minutes.
  4. Remove asparagus to platter.
  5. Mix remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, hot sauce, and Parmesan and stir to combine.
  6. Pour sauce over asparagus and serve immediately.

Reprinted with permission from Where There’s Smoke: Simple, Sustainable, Delicious Grilling
© 2013 by Barton Seaver, Sterling Epicure, an imprint of Sterling Publishing Co. Inc. Photography by Katie Stoops