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An oval platter with grilled asparagus 'rafts' topped with roasted tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and balsamic vinegar. This platter is surrounded by a platted portion and more ingredients.

Grilled Asparagus Caprese (inspired) Salad

The asparagus was bathed in olive oil and balsamic vinegar before being grilled. The tomatoes are pan roasted, then combined with fresh mozzarella, basil, and a splash of balsamic. I have skewered the asparagus to make “rafts” which are easier to flip on the grill and are the perfect size for individual servings. Use one raft per person as a side dish or two rafts for a delicious light lunch.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Appetizer, Brunch, Entree, Lunch, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 - 8 People

Ingredients
  

  • 40 Ontario Asparagus Spears medium thickness - approximately 1.2 kg stalks trimmed
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided
  • 5 tablespoons good quality balsamic vinegar divided
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 568 grams grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 125 g ball of fresh mozzarella
  • 24 small basil leaves or 16 larger ones, torn, for garnish
  • 16 x 10 cm 4-inch wooden skewers, soaked for at least 60 minutes

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the grill on medium-high (400°F-425°F)
  • Separate the asparagus into groups of five, equal thickness, spears.
  • Skewer each group of five asparagus using two skewers to create “rafts”. Slide the first skewer through all five spears, 3-4 cm from the bottom of each spear. Then slide the second skewer through each spear about 4 cm above the bottom skewer.
  • Place the asparagus rafts on a baking sheet in a row, drizzle the top of the asparagus with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, then sprinkle with salt and pepper (to taste). Set aside.
  • Place a high-heat-tolerant skillet on the grill. Heat the skillet for a minute, then add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper (to taste) and toss to combine. Close the grill lid and cook the tomatoes for 5-6 minutes.
  • Add asparagus rafts and grill the rafts for 3-6 minutes until charred and just tender. The thinner spears will cook quickly, and the thicker spears will take a few more minutes.
  • Remove the asparagus and tomatoes from the grill and arrange the asparagus rafts on a platter or individual plates. Divide the tomatoes equally across the rafts, tear the mozzarella and sprinkle evenly over the platter (or plates). Add the basil and drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the balsamic vinegar. Enjoy!

Notes

Ontario Asparagus is ready to eat and available now at local farmer’s markets, produce markets and grocery stores. Local asparagus is fresh, nutritious, healthy, and most of all, really tasty!
Did you know that asparagus has only 20 calories per 1⁄2 cup? It is a good source of dietary fiber, potassium, iron, manganese, selenium, and wide range of important vitamins. Asparagus is high in vitamin C and has more folate than any other veggie.
Recipe created in partnership with The Ontario Produce Marketing Association.
Yield: serves 4 as a primary dish or 8 as a side dish
 
Keyword asparagus, asparagus recipe, caprese salad, grilled asparagus, grilled caprese salad
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