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Broiling is a form of cooking that many people use worldwide, but people in countries outside North America often call the process grilling. It uses a heating element to radiate heat onto the food from a distance. Broiled asparagus is one dish that a cook can prepare using this method.
Asparagus is a long, thin vegetable that grows directly out of the ground. Typically, it is green, but farmers can also grow white and purple colored variations. It has a stalk with a compact head, and is entirely edible. Sometimes, however, mature asparagus stalks have dry, tough bases.
Cooks often snap off the bases of asparagus spears before cooking, as they can be unpleasant to eat. Another option for the cook is to peel the skin off to reveal the softer flesh inside. Commonly, then, the cook boils the spears for a few minutes in plain or salted water.
Another type of dish is broiled asparagus. This involves the use of a broiler, or grill, but not a barbecue grill, as this is a different type of cooking. Salt, pepper and garlic are possible flavorings for asparagus spears.
A cook can choose whether or not to add seasonings to his or her broiled asparagus dish. As well as salt and pepper, olive oil can be useful to impart flavors and add texture to the vegetable. Prosciutto ham is another option that can both hold the spears together in bunches during cooking as a wrap and also add a salty component to the meal.
No prior cooking is necessary for broiled asparagus. Instead, the cook need only toss the spears in his or her preferred flavorings, and lay the asparagus out in a single layer on a baking tray. Baking paper is useful to prevent the vegetables sticking to the tray.
About ten minutes under the heat cooks the spears. As the broiler can only cook one side of the spears at a time, the cook has to turn the vegetables over halfway through. Once a sharp knife penetrates the thick end of the asparagus with only a small amount of resistance, then the spears are cooked. The vegetable also keeps cooking for a time after the cook removes the heat.
Parmesan cheese shavings on top of the cooked asparagus can top off the dish. As well as broiled asparagus, the vegetable also lends itself to other methods of cooking like steaming, roasting in an oven and barbecuing. The plant is a seasonal vegetable, but also may be available in stores year-round as an import.