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Asparagus With Lemon-Pepper Marinade

Asparagus With Lemon-Pepper Marinade

Blanch whatever you’ve got—for me, this was some mustard greens stems and a few stray stalks of broccoli rabe—then drench in a marinade made creamy with silken tofu, heady with white pepper. Broil or grill to caramelize any lingering marinade, and serve with more of the dreamy sauce. Yields 4-6.


  • 1 cup silken tofu
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon plus 2 tablespoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound thick asparagus, trimmed
  • Freshly ground white pepper (or more black pepper)


  1. In a blender, combine the tofu, 1 tablespoon of the lemon zest, the olive oil, water, rice vinegar, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of the salt and the black pepper and puree until smooth, adding more lemon juice if necessary until the mixture is runny. Pour into a shallow dish, using a rubber spatula to scrape out all the sauce. Set aside.
  2. Fill a large bowl with ice and cold water. In a large pot, bring 2 quarts water to a boil over high heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons salt and the asparagus and blanch for 30 seconds to brighten the color. Using tongs, remove the asparagus from the pot and quickly plunge it into the ice water. Let cool for 5 minutes. Drain the asparagus, pat dry with a clean kitchen towel, and transfer to the shallow dish with the dressing. Toss well and set aside for 1 hour.
  3. Heat a grill to high. Alternatively, heat your broiler and line a sheet pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
  4. Grill the asparagus (or broil it on the lined pan), turning with tongs to ensure even cooking, until tender and blistered n spots, 3 to 5 minutes.
  5. To serve, place the asparagus on a serving plate, drizzle with the lemon-pepper sauce, and sprinkle with the remaining 2 teaspoons lemon zest. Season with salt and white pepper to taste, then serve.
Recipe created by Bryant Terry for

Photo by Ty Mecham