Himalayan Salt Block Asparagus- Looking for an easy, healthy and unique way to cook asparagus? The Himalayan salt block imparts a delicate salty flavor to perfectly crisp tender asparagus. An easy side dish or use in salads, grain bowls and so much more!
I’m going to make a big bold statement…This was the BEST! (yes all caps are necessary) asparagus I’ve ever had! Yes …THE BEST! Perfectly tender with just the right amount of crisp and a faint imparting of saltiness.
What is a Himalayan Salt Block?
It's just what it sounds like. A block made of Pink Himalayan Salt. The salt block adds a hint of salt flavor to foods cooked on or served on the salt block.
Himalayan salt blocks come from ocean deposits that are mined in the Himalayan area in Pakistan. Harvested in boulders and then hand cut by local masons and transformed into a variety of shapes for cooking.
Himalayan salt blocks are non-porous and have very little moisture, allowing them to be heated to very high temperatures (above 700 F) or chilled below zero degrees. The non-porous surface means that only a faint amount of saltiness is imparted to the food that comes in contact with the block. In addition, the salt blocks also contain trace elements of other minerals, giving the flavor more complexity than salt alone.
What Can You do with a Himalayan Salt Block?
I’m using my salt block to make this easy and flavorful asparagus, but the Himalayan salt blocks are really versatile and can be used to prepare and serve so many different foods.
The Salt Block can be used for:
- Cooking -the salt block can be heated in the oven. over direct gas flame or the grill for cooking such things as vegetables, fish, poultry, or searing prawns and seafood. You can also bake pizzas and cookies on the salt block.
- Chilling- chill for 2 hrs. in the refrigerator and use the salt block to serve sushi, salads, appetizers or fruit and cheese plates. You can even freeze the salt slab and serve ice cream or sorbet.
- Curing- due to the salinity of the block it's possible to partially or fully cure foods such as salmon (for gravlax) and beef ( for beef jerky)
- Serving- the crystalline structure of the salt block allows it to retain hot or cold temperatures for longer periods of time (20-30 minutes) making it an ideal serving platter for foods you want to keep warm or cold. In addition items served on the pink hued salt block look especially beautiful.
How to Make Salt Block Asparagus
It doesn't get mush easier than this!
- Place the salt block in the oven and set oven to 400F. Allow salt block to heat in the oven as oven come to temperature.
- Trim asparagus ends (where the green and white part of spear come together) and coat spears with olive oil and fresh cracked black pepper.
- Open oven and place the asparagus on the salt block (using tongs). Cook until tender approx. 10-12 minutes, turning spears over with tongs halfway through cooking.
Himalayan Salt Blocks are so versatile that James Beard award winner Mark Bittman wrote a whole cookbook dedicated to cooking with salt blocks (with 70 recipes)(Amazon affiliate link) Salt Block Cooking: 70 Recipes for Grilling, Chilling, Searing, and Serving on Himalayan Salt Blocks
Where can you buy a Salt Block?
How to clean a Himalayan Salt Block?
Make sure the salt block is fully cooled before cleaning. The best way to clean the block is with a damp unused sponge. Wet the surface of the block and scrub to clean. Water dissolves salt so you don't want to run the water over the block for too long.
Tough to remove bits can be scrubbed with the abrasive side of the sponge or a mildly abrasive brush. Rinse with water and pat dry with paper towel (or a clean dish towel).
Let air dry before putting the salt block away. Salt is anti-microbial so you don’t need to use any soap when cleaning. In fact, don’t use soap because the salt block may absorb the soap and affect the flavor when cooking. When properly taken care of, salt blocks can be reused for months.
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Himalayan Salt Block Asparagus
- 1 lb fresh asparagus
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- fresh cracked pepper to taste
- Place Himalayan salt block in oven and set to 400 F. Let salt block heat up as oven heats.
- Trim asparagus by cutting the ends off where the green part of the stem meets the white ends of asparagus
- In a bowl or resealable bag lightly coat asparagus with olive oil. Add desired amount of fresh cracked pepper. Open oven and place asparagus on salt block in oven (using tongs) . Cook until spears are tender (approx. 10 minutes), turning once.