Both White and Green Asparagus are seasonal products. Waiting for the season to begin is part of the fun of enjoying asparagus.
Preparing Green Asparagus is simple. Wash them and cut off 1 or 2 centimetres or so from the bottom. You could steam or cook them but you risk getting soggy asparagus. Better to prepare them in a skillet or in the oven. They will only take 10-15 minutes. Great to combine with basil and black olives. You could also grill them, see below.
Buying and preparing White Asparagus requires a bit more work, but once you know what to do, it’s not difficult at all.
Make sure the white asparagus are fresh. Just look at the bottom, where they have been cut off. If the cut looks dry, wrinkly or even moldy, then don’t buy them. If you want to be sure they are super fresh, then rub two asparagus together. If you hear a squeaking sound, then they’re super fresh.
Peel White Asparagus, using a peeler, as you would potatoes. In the old days White Asparagus would be peeled twice, but nowadays we like a bit of texture.
Cut off 1 or 2 centimetres from the bottom. If your White Asparagus are fresh, it’s just a matter of removing the original cut.
The most popular approach is to cook White Asparagus. Add the asparagus to a pan with plenty of cold water. Wait for the water to just begin boiling, keep it simmering for 1 minute, then transfer the pan to the work top. Wait for 10 minutes before removing the asparagus from the water. If you prefer them a bit softer, then leave them in the hot water for 5 more minutes.
Many add butter, sugar, salt, lemon and/or the skin of the asparagus to the water. We could imagine adding the skin. Adding sugar is a big NO for us.
You could use a special asparagus pan when cooking the asparagus, but actually there is no need for it. As long as the pan can accommodate the asparagus, you’re fine.
We prefer steaming White Asparagus for 20 minutes in our Russell Hobbs. The taste of the asparagus will be more intense and richer.
In general a Pinot Blanc, Riesling or Dry Muscat from the Elzas will be very nice with your asparagus.
Over the years we have prepared asparagus in many ways. Bon Appétit!
- Classic: White Asparagus à la Flamande
- As a salad: White Asparagus with Chervil
- In the oven: Green and White Asparagus with Basil and Black Olives
- Gourmet: White Asparagus with Kimizu
- Italian: Grilled Asparagus with Parmesan Cheese
You’re probably aware of the side effect of eating asparagus, the typical smell when peeing. It doesn’t happen to everyone, and it also depends on the type of asparagus. The sulphurous by-products (the result of your body digesting the asparagus) that cause the smell, will disappear within a few hours. Could take a bit longer, but nothing to worry about, it’s perfectly harmless.