White Asparagus

It is asparagus season in France right now. Nearly all the stalls at the farmer’s market have them. Different varieties- skinny white asparagus, fat white asparagus, purple asparagus, and ordinary green asparagus. You can also find less beautiful, crooked white asparagus at a discount!

I typically drizzle my asparagus with olive oil and sea salt and roast them in the oven for about 15-20 minutes. Many people add black pepper but I’m not a fan and never use it in my cooking. Last week I bought white asparagus for the first time and prepared it the same way I would prepare green asparagus. It was a huge fail! The outer skin was tough and inedible. The only way to salvage some of it was to eat it the same way you would eat lobster legs. If you have done it, you  know that it is a lot of effort to get out a bit of lobster meat and flavor. The same was true with the white asparagus.

I consulted a friend, and local chef, Steffan Edwards for advice on how to prepare them. White asparagus may look delicate but it is important to peel one or two layers of skin off with a vegetable peeler. Also, you must never roast white asparagus like you can the green variety. It should only be boiled for about 7 minutes. Freshness is also important. If you are lucky enough to buy it from a farmer’s market, you can assume that it is fresh but try not to keep it in the fridge for more than two days. If they have been purchased from a grocery store, it should be eaten on the same day.

Purple Asparagus seen in the farmer’s market.

Discounted Crooked White Asparagus.

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Categories: Farmer's Markets, France

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