Veggies on the counter

Grilled Asparagus with Sunflower Seed Sauce and Gram Crêpes

Posted in side dishes by veggies on the counter on May 6, 2013


I frequently spot asparagus in supermarkets and groceries stores, but they’re so expensive around here that I tend not to buy them. Plus, they usually come from very far away, which means long airplane travels and refrigeration time. I often wonder how long they have been harvested, and as much as I like eating them, that thought keeps me away from bringing them home. However, the other day I spotted locally sourced fresh asparagus and, knowing they’re in season, I prepared a simple and practical dish with this spring treat. The thing with asparagus is that you don’t want to overcook them as well as masking their flavour by combining them with a hundred different ingredients. With that in mind, this recipe came to live. The sunflower sauce is creamy and delicate in flavour making  a perfect match for the grilled asparagus. I have a recipe for gram crêpes deep in the archives but, as I’m too lazy to check it out and because it’s a simple one to write down, I’m reposting it here again. Hope you enjoy this one, I’ll be coming back soon. (;



Grilled Asparagus with Sunflower Seed Sauce and Gram Crêpes

(serves 2)

1 bunch / 300g asparagus, trimmed

olive oil


for the sunflower seed sauce:

¼ c. / 35 g sunflower seeds

¼ c. / 65 ml hot water

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

½ teaspoon sal

freshly ground black pepper

for the gram crêpes:

¼ c. / 35 g gram flour

½ c. /125 ml warm water

¼ teaspoon salt

olive oil

For the sauce, add all the ingredients to the bowl of a food processor. Process on high speed for 1-2 minutes or until the sauce gets a fairly smooth consistency. Add more hot water if you want to thin it out a bit and adjust the seasonings to your liking.

To grill the asparagus, start by brushing a griddle pan with olive oil. Turn the heat to medium-high and when the pan is hot, but no smoking, add the asparagus. Sprinkle them with sea salt and grill for 3-5 minutes on each side or until they get visible grilling marks. Set aside.

For the gram crêpes, mix all the ingredients (except the olive oil) in a bowl. Whisk until you get a thin batter with no visible lumps. In the meantime, and using a pastry brush, grease non-stick frying pan and heat it to medium heat. When the pan is hot, but not smoking, add 1/3 cup of the gram batter to it, making sure it evenly covers the bottom of the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, being careful not to break the crêpe when turning it over. Add the remaining 1/3 cup of batter to the pan and repeat the proceeding.

To assemble, arrange the asparagus on a plate, spoon the sauce over them and serve the gram crêpes on the side.


4 Responses

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  1. David Prissick said, on May 6, 2013 at 11:20 pm

    That is uncanny. I have been making a lot of gram pancakes recently and asparagus is just coming into season so you have just hit my culinary nail right on the head. Interesting sauce too. Thank you.

  2. Márcia Gonçalves said, on May 8, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    Queria tanto experimentar esse crepe, mas sabes se é possível encontrar farinha de grão em Portugal? :)
    E nunca fiz nenhum molho com sementes de girassol, a experimentar também, brevemente, para aproveitar a época dos espargos ;)

  3. veggies on the counter said, on May 9, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    Olá Márcia! És do Porto? Se sim, podes encontrar farinha de grão nas lojas de comércio tradicional da rua sá da bandeira (casa ramos e casa chinesa). Existe também uma outra loja, chamada A Favorita do Bolhão (rua fernandes tomás) que vende farinha de grão avulso. É lá que costumo comprar. (:

    • Márcia Gonçalves said, on May 15, 2013 at 9:07 pm

      No Bolhão? A sério? Costumo ir à casa chinesa comprar amêndoas (a meu ver parece-me o sítio mais barato), mas nunca reparei na farinha de grão! Tenho de começar a reparar melhor nos produtos… Que outras maravilhas me poderão ter escapado? :)

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