Recipe: Grilled Asparagus Linguine with Mushroom Vinaigrette

I confess, I’m not much of an Asian foodie.

Nothing against Asian culture, people, or their food…I just didn’t grow up eating it, so I never developed a taste for it. On the rare occasion Mom made some sort of vegetarian meat-replacement Asian recipe it usually involved sweet-and-sour sauce, which I cannot stand to this day.

So, the recipes you will find on this Blog will be light on the Asian fare, though I will try to incorporate a few that I do like, such as this one.

Grilled Asparagus Linguine with Mushroom Vinaigrette

1 lb. whole grain linguine
3 tablespoons dark sesame oil
2 tablespoon mashed fresh ginger
½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons garlic paste (about 4 cloves mashed)
8 oz. shiitake mushroom caps, sliced thin
2 cups crimini mushrooms, sliced thin
½ cup rice wine vinegar
½ cup low sodium soy sauce
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
½ cup unsweetened pineapple juice
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 lbs. trimmed asparagus spears

Bring water to boil in a large stockpot and add the linguine. Cook until al dente, then drain into a colander or mesh strainer. Toss with a small amount of sesame oil to keep from sticking and transfer to a large serving bowl.

While the linguine is cooking, heat 3 tablespoons sesame oil in a large skillet over medium heat until hot. Test with a drop of water; if it sizzles it is ready. Add the mashed ginger, cayenne pepper, and garlic paste; cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the sliced mushrooms; cook for 2 more minutes, stirring constantly. Add the rice vinegar, soy sauce, parsley, pineapple juice, water, and sugar. Stir to combine and remove the vinaigrette from the heat but keep warm.

Trim off the tough ends of the asparagus spears. Place them on the grill or broiler rack and brush them with the mushroom vinaigrette. Grill or broil the asparagus for 3 minutes or until lightly browned.

In the serving bowl, toss the linguine with the rest of the mushroom vinaigrette and gently fold in the asparagus spears. Use tongs to serve.

Yield: 8 servings

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