WHEN I WAS growing up, there was an asparagus farm a couple of towns over where my mom and her sisters would go and buy many pounds of the green spears to freeze for winter. I remember standing at the register, an open till on a rickety old table, while Mom or Aunt Polly paid. I stood staring at the surrounding fields full of what looked like giant green Q-tips sticking up in rows out of the dusty soil. That was the best asparagus I ever had.
Refrigerate asparagus upright with bases immersed in water until ready to use
It's is a spring crop, so this is the time of year to find good asparagus in the stores. I recently found some lovely big spears to marinated for the grill. Once they're marinating, they can wait in a refrigerator or cooler (for cooking over the fire grate on your camping trip) for a day.
Wash the asparagus and break of the bottoms. It is important to break off the bottoms rather than cut them because asparagus has a tough, woody base, and each spear will break at the point where it begins to be more tender. Use a vegetable peeler, gently remove just a little of the skin of the lower half of each spear.
Put the spears in a gallon zip-top bag along with the oil. Finely mince the garlic cloves and add them to the bag along with the salt. I recommend using kosher salt because it has a nice consistency for this recipe. If you are using a finer grind of salt, you may want to use a little less.
Leaving some air in the bag, zip it closed and gently toss the contents so that the spears get covered in the oil, salt and garlic. When they are well coated, remove the air from the bag and allow the spears to sit for at least an hour. The spears should cook on a grill or fire that is not too hot. (We waited until after the meat had cooked to put the spears on the grill.)
Turn them every 1-2 minutes, allowing them to cook until they turn a brighter green and get just the tiniest bit flexible in texture. Watch the tips. They are the most delicate (and yummiest) part and can burn easily.
Serve them immediately and enjoy!