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White asparagus recipe

White asparagus recipe

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  • Dish type
  • Side dish
  • Vegetable side dishes

White asparagus is delicate in flavour and increasingly found in local markets. Serve with hollandaise sauce for a perfect accompaniment.

21 people made this

IngredientsServes: 2

  • 1 bunch white asparagus
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • 1 knob butter

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:20min ›Ready in:35min

  1. Peel the asparagus with a vegetable peeler from top to bottom. Cut off the woody ends with a knife.
  2. Bring a large pan of water to the boil. When the water boils, add salt, sugar and butter. Add the asparagus, reduce heat and simmer gently over low heat 20 to 25 minutes. Check with a knife to see if the asparagus is tender.
  3. Drain the asparagus well and enjoy plain, or serve with hollandaise sauce and a sprinkling of chives.


White asparagus

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How to cook white asparagus

White asparagus is white because it is grown without being exposed to light, preventing photosynthesis and therefore the production of chlorophyll. As it begins to grow, soil is piled onto the seedling to keep it in the dark – a very labour intensive process which explains the pricetag on this highly revered spring vegetable. Part of the lily family, white asparagus is nowhere near as popular in the UK as the green variety. However, in Germany it is eaten in abundance when in season, with the average German eating two kilograms a year.

In the UK, white asparagus is grown in the the Evesham Vale area in Worcestershire but the majority of fresh white asparagus comes from the Loire Valley in France and Germany. It is graded by size with the thickest spears being highly prized and the most expensive. White asparagus has been trialled in supermarkets in recent years but the best quality will be found at farmers’ markets or organic supermarkets during its season of April to June.

White asparagus is a very healthy vegetable, containing only twenty calories per 100g and no fat at all. It is rich in vitamin C, folic acid and antioxidants, and said to be beneficial for a healthy heart.

As my girlfriend is a Dutchie, I’ve been lucky enough to learn her family’s method for enjoying white asparagus. They have a very simple tradition of serving blanched white asparagus with rolled ham, butter, hard-boiled eggs and boiled potatoes. It’s all shared at the table in little bowls and everyone helps themselves.

What I love about this tradition is that people don’t just like white asparagus, they get excited about white asparagus. As a Chef, I can totally relate to getting excited about vegetables!

I’ve tweaked this recipe slightly to include my secret weapon – brown butter and a heavy helping of fresh herbs.

Warm White Asparagus Salad Gribiche

Boiling white or green asparagus in salted water until it is just beyond the al dente stage brings out the true asparagus flavor.


5 large eggs
2 tablespoons small capers
2 tablespoons shallot, minced
4 cornichons, finely chopped
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoon chopped mix of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chervil, chives, tarragon
2 pounds fresh white asparagus, end removed


Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. With a slotted spoon, one at a time, add 3 of the eggs carefully so they don&rsquot crack and cook exactly 8 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, discard the water and place in a bowl of ice water for 2 minutes. Remove the eggs from the ice water and tap them on the counter to crack the shells slightly. Return to the ice water for 2 minutes. Remove the eggs, peel and set aside in a bowl.

Place the remaining 2 eggs in the saucepan and cover with cold water by 1-inch. Place the pan on high heat and bring to a rolling boil. Remove the pan from the burner, cover and let stand 12 minutes. Drain immediately and cool under cold running water. When the eggs are completely cool, finely chop and set aside.

In the meantime, to make the gribiche sauce, place the capers, shallots cornichons, mustard, vinegar, and olive oil in a bowl and stir together. Season with salt and pepper.

For the asparagus, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add 2 tablespoons salt and the lemon juice.

In the meantime, trim ½ -inch from the ends of the white asparagus. Lay the spears on the work surface and peel them with a vegetable peeler starting from 1 ½-inches from the top and peeling all the way to the bottom on the entire spear. The spears are very brittle and can snap if you don&rsquot peel them while they are resting on the work surface.

Tie the asparagus into bundles using cotton kitchen string. Lower the bundles into the boiling water and cook, depending upon the thickness of the asparagus, until tender and can be easily pierced with the tip of a knife, 8 to 30 minutes.

Just before serving, mix the chopped eggs and parsley into the gribiche sauce and stir together. Remove the asparagus bundles with kitchen tongs and remove the strings. Immediately place the warm asparagus on a platter. Whisk the sauce and drizzle it over the asparagus. Cut the hard-boiled eggs in half and garnish the platter with the eggs. Season the eggs with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

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  • #For pumpernickel breadcrumbs#
  • 1) Day-old pumpernickel bread - 2 slices. (You have to remove the crusts and they should be cut into 1-inch cubes).
  • 2) Unsalted butter - 1 tablespoon. (It should be melted).
  • 3) Black pepper (freshly ground) – to taste.
  • 4) Kosher salt – to taste.
  • #For sauerkraut hollandaise and roasted white asparagus#
  • 1) Sauerkraut juice - 4 tablespoons.
  • 2) Egg yolks – 4 nos.
  • 3) Unsalted butter - 1/2 cup. (It should be melted).
  • 4) Kosher salt – to taste.
  • 5) Black pepper (freshly ground) – to taste.
  • 6) Jumbo white asparagus - 2 bunches. (You must remove the woody ends and peel the skin as well).
  • 7) Vegetable oil - 1 tablespoon.

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This one rings bells! The combination of ingredients is very delicious, and the recipe is strong enough that we could also use other mushrooms (other than morels, but morels were best), and onion (rather than leek). The final result is also beautiful, with the green parsley, white asparagus, and brown mushrooms. We paired it with seared tuna & a nice white Bordeaux, but those with more sophisticate palates might choose something else.

I made this for Easter dinner--I used dried, reconstituted morels. It was really wonderful! Everyone loved it. One of the best veggie recipes ever!!

We use this so much I felt compelled to review (this is my first review). We have only ever used green asparagus, use a little less butter than called for, and don't add the parsley. What we end up with is an extremely versatile result that we have used as a side dish, a crostini topping with goat cheese or ricotta, a great pizza topping, an omelette filling, and most recently, tossed with pasta for a great, easy dinner.

I use this method to make any asparagus: after trimming I put it in a frying pan of boiling water, turn it off and it is ready to eat by the time the salad course is done, I did the white asparagus the same way and it was great. None of the bitterness from the asparagus that I expected. The dish was perfect with our Easter dinner of ham and turkey!

This was a great recipe! I wish I would have been able to get white asparagus (can't find it in Northern MN right now) but I was able to obtain fresh morels. Tons and tons of butter in this dish, but worth it if served in moderation. Not an everyday side but definately an impressive dish for company. Just do a cholesterol count before you serve!!

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German White Asparagus Recipe

This German White Asparagus Recipe is prepared with a Hollandaise Sauce and traditionally served with boiled, fried potatoes and ham.

Ingredients for German White Asparagus Recipe:

  • 300 g (10.5 oz) of white asparagus (per person)
  • ¼ l (8.4 oz) of water
  • ¼ l (8.4 oz) of milk
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 wedges spreadable cheese e.g. like The Laughing Cow (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons of sour cream
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 splash of lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • salt

Preparation of Asparagus:

Wash the Asparagus very carefully, so that the tip will not break. Peel the Asparagus with a vegetable peeler starting around the middle of the stem and finishing at the end. Cut the bottom end off the Asparagus.

Place the Asparagus in the boiling water, add 1-2 teaspoons of salt and let it cook for about 15-20 minutes depending on the thickness. Remove and place in a dish and keep warm.

Preparation for Hollandaise Sauce:

Slowly melt the butter. Add the flour to it and mix until smooth. Add ¼ l (8.4 oz) of water from the cooked asparagus along with ¼ l (8.4 oz) of milk. Mix in the cheese wedges and stir until dissolved. While constantly stirring, add the sour cream and the egg yolk. Season it with the lemon juice and salt.

Preparation of Potatoes:

Boil your small potatoes (I used fingerlings) for about 12 minutes. Put them in a colander and rinse under cold water. Peel off the skin off. Melt about 4 tablespoons of butter in a skillet. Place the potatoes in the butter and sauté them evenly on all sides.

When your Asparagus and potatoes are fully cooked, roll some slices of cooked ham or Black Forrest on a serving plate. You are ready to serve. To try the Horseradish Sauce click here, the Creamed Spinach Recipe click here, the Original Frankfurter Green Sauce Recipe click here, and the Mustard Sauce Recipe click here.

Instead of growing it above ground, it is grown in large rows, with soil heaped over the plants, then covered with a black plastic. It is usually harvested from mid-April to mid-June, but some years it comes in later, depending on how bad the winter was.

As the season begins, you will see all the restaurants jumping on the spargel wagon, creating entire menus based around this much sought-after veg.

The two most traditional ways of serving it is either boiled and served alongside boiled potatoes and ham, sometimes with the Hollandaise sauce, or in Spargel cremesuppe (white asparagus soup), which is by far Jim’s favorite.

Nowadays, however, the chefs are trying to come up with new white spargel recipes and wrangle your business to their restaurant. The spargel menu usually will have a number of meats or salmon served with the potatoes and white asparagus for a few options. Then they often will have one really new dish to entice you.

At one place I had a spargel toast with a chicken breast, ham, cheese, and mustard and cream sauce to top it off. I haven’t been able to find it since…unfortunately.

White Asparagus

White asparagus is sweeter and milder than green asparagus. White asparagus is popular in Europe in the U.S., it's a more of a specialty item. Look for it at farmer's markets or the produce section of gourmet grocery stores.

White asparagus actually comes from the same plants as green asparagus, but has a milder, more delicate flavor.

Why is White Asparagus White?

White asparagus isn't a special variety: it's white because it was kept covered in mulch while it was growing. It has the same nutrition as green asparagus, and it comes from the same plants, but the flavor is subtly different.

You can use white asparagus interchangeably with green asparagus in any recipe that calls for it.

Like all asparagus, you want your white asparagus to be as fresh as possible. Locally grown asparagus bought in season will always be superior to asparagus that's been shipped in. Look for sturdy, unblemished spears with tightly closed tips.

Asparagus requires a fair amount of space and direct sunlight to grow, and you can't harvest for two to three years after planting. However, if you already have a patch of asparagus and would like to try growing white asparagus, cover the plants in the spring with a thick layer of mulch (eight inches or more). Asparagus requires sunlight to develop chlorophyll. If you shield the shoots from the sun, they'll stay white. Harvest them before they break through the mulch.

Snap the bottom inch or two off each spear. (Hold each spear at the end and midpoint, and bend: the part that snaps off is the part you don't want to eat.) Peeling asparagus is an optional but recommended step with thick spears.

White asparagus soup, or "spargelsuppe," is a traditional German food. For a simple version, try this recipe:

2 pounds white asparagus
1 small onion, chopped
2 T butter
5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup half-and-half cream
salt and freshly ground pepper
parsley (optional)
1. Peel the asparagus and cut into two-inch pieces. Set the tips aside.

2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter, then saute the onion and the pieces of asparagus stalk until soft. (You should still keep the asparagus tips aside.)

3. Add the broth and wine and simmer for 30 minutes.

4. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup, or if you don't have an immersion blender, puree in batches (carefully!) in your blender or food processer. Return to pot.

5. Return the soup to a gentle simmer and add the asparagus tips. Cook for three to five minutes or until tender.

6. Lower heat and stir in the cream. You do not want to boil the cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

7. Garnish with parsley, if you'd like.

Keep things simple -- asparagus doesn't require anything elaborate.

For grilled asparagus, toss the spears with olive oil, wrap a single layer in a foil packet, and lay the packet on a medium-heat grill for five minutes. Feel free to add some fresh rosemary or some balsamic vinegar to the packet.

Because of its delicate flavor, white asparagus is also ideal for salad recipes. Steam or grill the asparagus, then cool. One simple but tasty option is to cook the asparagus, then marinate in an olive oil and vinegar dressing alone with thinly sliced red onions.

Finally, white sauce goes with everything. Asparagus is one of the classic vehicles for hollandaise sauce.