Tender White Asparagus
Photography by: Thomas Wenger
- white asparagus fresh
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 piece lemon sliced
Utensils & assecoires
- butchers string
- vegetable peeler
- large pot for cooking
- kitchen tray to peel the asparagus
Spring, or more accurately May and June, is
I have been living abroad for 20+ years and I truly like the thin pencil or thicker green asparagus sautéed or grilled, in salads or as a vegetables, but the tender white asparagus are still my most favorites. During my apprenticeship, it was our job to peel up to 40 kg of white asparagus per day during the peak season. We had gotten pretty good at it and had a little annual competition of who could peel a crate of white asparagus the fastest and cleanest.
This is what’s so important with white asparagus, the peeling must be impeccable as the skin can not be eaten and stays tough and the cooking has to be thorough as they must be tender to develop their full taste. White asparagus and asparagus in general, are very healthy as well. They contain no fat or cholesterol, have very low sodium content, and are a good source of fiber and potassium. Asparagus are beneficial to bladder and kidney functions.
- There are asparagus boilers available, but if you do not have one, please ensure that you cooking pot is large enough that asparagus bundles have enough space to "swim" loosely.
- Bring all ingredients except the asparagus bundles to boil. Add the asparagus bundles, bring the water back to boil and lower the heat to a simmer. White asparagus will need to cook for 12 -19 minutes depending on the thickness of the stems. White asparagus need to be cooked soft and should not be al dente. Undercooked they will be stringy and unpleasant to eat.
- Cover the asparagus with a white kitchen towel during the cooking process. This will ensure that the asparagus are equally cooked even though they are swimming on the surface.