Rick Browne, Ph.B., host of the PBS show “Barbecue America” and the author of The Best Barbecue on Earth and nine other books, is supplying articles and recipes to the Fiery Foods& Barbecue SuperSite.
1 bunch of fresh asparagus
3-4 fresh whole carrots
Extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon apple juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon dried thyme
Soak a cedar plank in very hot water for 2-3 hours.
Mix the vinegar, olive oil, apple juice, salt, pepper, and thyme in a flat Pyrex pan.
Prepare the asparagus by cutting off the bottom 1-2 inches. With a vegetable peeler, peel the lower 1/3 of each stalk, just taking off the hard outside layer all around.
Peel and cut the carrots lengthwise into stalks that are approximately the same thickness as the asparagus. Drop the carrots into salted boiling water for 3 minutes, then cool quickly in ice water. This keeps the bright color and brings them to the same tenderness as the uncooked asparagus.
Place the asparagus and carrots in the pan, and toss them with your hands to coat all the vegetables with the vinegar-oil marinade. Let the mixture sit for 20 minutes.
Drain the plank, pat it dry, and brush it with olive oil.
Drain the asparagus and carrots, and alternate them on the surface of the cedar plank. Place the plank on the hot part of the grill and cook for 25-30 minutes until the asparagus is just tender.
Serve the carrots and asparagus on the charred plank, which you’ve placed on a serving plate. Let your guests remove the veggies with a small pair of kitchen tongs.