White Asparagus

White asparagus does not get enough respect here in the United States–I rarely see it around. Countries all over Europe celebrate it and serve it as a traditional harbinger of spring. It’s cooked in all sorts of ways, but one thing is constant: it’s mellow, fresh, spring asparagus flavor. Here it’s prepared as a side dish salad meant to be served at room temperature or just slightly warm. The dill and chives make it feel even more like spring encapsulated.

IMG_5006You will peel the outside skin as white asparagus has a tougher skin than that of conventional green asparagus. The interior is soft and tender with a delicate flavor.IMG_4982Fresh dill and chives + a clove of fresh garlic are a must. Using kitchen twine, tie the asparagus together to cook.IMG_5025The asparagus will be tender and complemented by the olive oil, lemon and herbs. IMG_5017Serve the dish as the asparagus is cooling down allowing it to soak up the flavors.IMG_5031Spring on a plate–White Asparagus is just conventional asparagus that has not been exposed to sunlight, but something about it still feels real special.

INGREDIENTS
– 1 1/2 Lbs. White Asparagus
– 2 Lemons
– 1 Small Bunch Dill
– 1 Small Bunch Chives
– 1 Garlic Clove Minced
– 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
– Sea Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper

1) Wash asparagus, allow to dry, and place on cutting board. Bring water to boil in a large pot.

2) Peel outer skin of the asparagus with a vegetable peeler. Start at the top of the spear just below the tip of the asparagus and peel down. Clean all asparagus spears of the bitter outer skins.

3) Lower the heat of the boiling water to medium-low. Add a pinch of sea salt and squeeze juice of one lemon into water. Let simmer briefly.

4) Tie all the asparagus spears together in a uniform manner with kitchen twine. The tie does not need to be extremely tight, but you do not want them falling out when you are removing them from the water after cooking. They should be together in one tight bundle.

5) Place tied and bundled asparagus into the simmering water. Let cook for approximately 12 minutes–if your asparagus has thicker spears, cook for longer, closer to 18 minutes.

6) Wash dill and chives and dry. Then chop and mix together. Mince one peeled garlic clove.

7) Remove asparagus once tender, a fork should pierce a spear easily, from water and let sit in its bundle for 5 minutes to cool down. Cut twine–be careful, some of the asparagus will still be very hot in the interior. Place on a serving platter.

8) Top with juice of 1/2 lemon, olive oil, dill, chives and minced garlic. Top with fresh ground pepper and a dash of sea salt.

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