Before I married him, my husband was a stellar cook.

He’d toss together lovely salads, slicked with olive oil, vinegar and pepper. He’d stuff Cornish hens with a concoction of bread crumbs, savories and spices. He’d scramble eggs with peppers, onions and smoked salmon.

He did it all instinctually, never cracking a cookbook or even consulting his mother (another stellar cook).

Twenty-two years later, he claims amnesia.

“You ate out every night?” I asked on Monday, after returning from a solo visit to my parents.

“Yes,” he said. “I can’t cook.”

“That isn’t true!” I said, reminding him of the salads and hens and eggs he used to make me.

His response?

“I was wooing you. What are you making for dinner?”

That’s how we came to this:

A grilled potato and asparagus salad. With a package of baby potatoes in the pantry and a surplus of garden asparagus, it came together without much thought or effort. I didn’t have to crack a cookbook; I didn’t have to call my mom. It was fast, fresh and a perfect accompaniment to the Billy Joel chicken we devoured.

It wooed my husband.

Maybe he’ll make it for me some day.

Grilled Potato & Asparagus Salad

  • 1 pound baby potatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 pound fresh asparagus, cut into 2-inch slices
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • Olive oil

Place the potatoes in a pan of salted water. Bring the water to a boil and cook the potatoes until they’re fork tender.

Using a hand-held strainer, remove the potatoes from the water.

Add the asparagus to the boiling water. Cook the slices for 30 seconds.

Remove the asparagus and place it with the potatoes.

Shake any excess water from the vegetables. Put them on a rimmed baking sheet.

Whisk together the lemon juice and mustard. Add enough olive oil to make a thick dressing. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour the dressing over the warm potatoes and asparagus. Toss well.

Heat a gas grill to high. Place the baking sheet on the grill. Cover and grill for 5 minutes.

Uncover the grill and toss the vegetables. Cover and grill an additional 2 minutes. The vegetables should have a nice sear on them but not be mushy.

Remove and eat immediately.