Grilled Purple Asparagus and Tofu with Tahini and Sweet Soy Reduction

Grilled Purple Asparagus and Firm Tofu
Drizzled Tahini and Sweet Soy Reduction
Garnished with Red Pepper Flake 
Black and White Sesame Seed

Purple Asparagus is a little sweeter (20% higher sugar content), more tender and less stringy than green asparagus. It is great in salads. Originally cultivated in Italy, this asparagus shown here was grown in California. If you want to retain the purple color, serve it raw or cook briefly in simmering water with a squeeze of lemon juice. Cooking the asparagus on the grill it tends to lose its pretty purple color and turn a dark green, but is still sweeter tasting and I prefer the texture over its cousin.

Season the asparagus and tofu with olive oil, sea salt and fresh ground pepper. 

The Sauces

One of my favorite sauce combinations is tahini (ground sesame seed paste) and sweet soy reduction.

Sweet Soy Reduction: Heat ½ c. each low-sodium soy sauce and mirin (rice wine) in a sauce pan, with 1 t. each minced garlic and ginger. Reduce by half. Strain. Add honey to taste. Or you can substitute good bottled teriyaki sauce as a shortcut.

I serve variations of these sauces with petrale sole, or tossed with soba noodles. or shown below with albacore.

Fresh Albacore Pan-Seared in Butter and Soy Sauce
Tahini and Sweet Soy Reduction
Fresh Herb Garnish