Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible


Lemon-Sesame Asparagus Rafts

By Steven Raichlen

Pinning the asparagus stalks into rafts looks cool as all get out and makes them easy to grill and turn.


  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Method: Direct Grilling
  • Equipment: toothpicks or slender bamboo skewers
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For the asparagus:

  • 1 pound fresh asparagus
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Asian (toasted) sesame oil

For the rub:

  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon each coarse salt and coarsely ground black pepper

Step 1: Snap the fibrous ends off the asparagus stalks. Lay 4 or 5 stalks side by side and pin them crosswise at the top and bottom to make rafts. Brush the rafts on both sides with sesame oil.

Step 2: Combine the ingredients for the rub in a small bowl and mix well. Sprinkle the asparagus rafts on both sides with rub.

Step 3: Set up your grill for direct grilling and preheat to high. Brush and oil the grill grate.

Step 4: Grill the asparagus until tender and browned on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side.

Step 5: Serve at once, warning everyone to remove the toothpicks before eating.