Goodbye to cans (for a season): how to cook fresh white asparagus and five recipes to make the most of it
If a few weeks ago my partner Pakus encouraged us to inaugurate the green asparagus season, today I take over to do the same with his white brothers, a vegetable that we are not so used to using fresh and that is a true delight.
I like canned white asparagus a lot, but I have to go around reading bottles and cans with a magnifying glass to find those grown and packed in Spain. They are more expensive, yes, but much richer. The same thing happens with fresh specimens, of a very short season but which are worth taking advantage of at home.
How to cook white asparagus
The best way to prepare both green and white asparagus was already known to the Romans, as we said a while ago here. The key is to cook the yolk and the base differently, as the former are very tender and it would be a shame to spoil them while we try to break the fibers at the other end.
Basically you have to clean them very well, remove the outer layer with a vegetable peeler to reach the most tender part, and cut the lower part of the trunk. By applying slight pressure, the stud itself gives way, indicating where to cut.
The ideal is to use a special casserole for asparagus, but we can use a high current pot that we have at home, which allows us to place them vertically. Fill with water until they cover the vegetables about 3/4, before starting the yolks, and cook by bringing the water to a boil with a little salt. Depending on the thickness, it will take about 15-20 minutes.
Recipes to take advantage of the asparagus season
The asparagus cooked to its point can be consumed now, hot or cold, seasoned to taste, or take advantage of them to enrich some recipes like these.
Pickled white asparagus
- Ingredients. 250 g of canned white asparagus, 150 g of carrot, 125 g of onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 100 g of red pepper, 50 ml of extra virgin olive oil, 50 ml of water, 80 ml of white wine vinegar , 1/2 teaspoon of tomato paste, 1 bay leaf, fresh thyme, cumin, 1 teaspoon of sugar.
- Elaboration. We will start by chopping the garlic cloves and the small onion, cut the carrot into slices and the red pepper into pieces.In a saucepan we heat the oil and sauté the onion over low heat together with the garlic for eight minutes, add the carrot, the pepper and the cumin and continue to fry for another 10 minutes. Add the tomato concentrate and stir. We add the sugar, the thyme and the bay leaf, the vinegar and the water. Let it continue cooking for another 10 minutes. Pour the marinade over the white asparagus and let it cool to room temperature. We keep them once cold in the refrigerator until we are ready to drink them.
Complete recipe | Pickled white asparagus. Garnish recipe
Steamed white asparagus with yogurt, lemon and dill sauce
- Ingredients. 6 fresh white asparagus, 125 g of natural yogurt, 1 lemon, 15 ml of extra virgin olive oil, dry or fresh dill, ground black pepper, salt.
- Elaboration. Peel the outer layer of each asparagus by pulling thin strips from just below the tips. Now wash with cold water and dry well. Press the lower end and bend it gently, the asparagus itself will break at the hardest and most woody part to be cut. Put water to heat in a pot in which we can place a suitable accessory for steam. Arrange the asparagus in the basket, place over the hot water without touching it and cover. Cook for about 10-20 minutes, checking the asparagus halfway through. Remove from the heat and let it warm. Drain the liquid from the yogurt and mix with a drizzle of oil, dill, a few drops of lemon juice and its zest. Salt and pepper and taste to adjust the ingredients to our liking. Serve the asparagus warm with a little more oil, a pinch of salt and lemon zest and dill
Complete recipe | Steamed white asparagus with yogurt, lemon and dill sauce: simple recipe to take advantage of its season
Navarra asparagus risotto and scallop coral
- Ingredients. 9 asparagus from Navarra, 9 scallop corals, 250 g of carnaroli rice, 1/4 of onion, 1 drizzle of white wine, 400 ml of vegetable broth, 100 ml of broth from canned asparagus, Parmersan cheese and chopped chives .
- Elaboration. We start by chopping the onion and sautéing it for a few minutes in the saucepan with a little oil. Add the rice and let it change color while we stir it. We add the white wine and let it evaporate without stopping stirring. Sauté the coral for a minute and cut the asparagus into pieces of approximately 1 cm, reserving the yolks. We are adding the vegetable broth mixed with the asparagus broth, adding it little by little to the rice, and letting it be absorbed before adding a little more. We repeat the operation until we finish with all the liquid. When we have very little broth left, add the asparagus and scallop corals to cook for the last two or three minutes. We finish with parmesan flakes, chopped chives and placing the yolks to decorate.
Complete recipe | Navarra asparagus risotto and scallop coral. Recipe to show off
Battered asparagus with almond béchamel
- Ingredients. 500 g of asparagus, 1 egg, flour, oil for coating, 500 ml of milk, 50 g of butter, 50 g of flour, 3 tablespoons of ground almonds, chopped parsley, salt, nutmeg, ground pepper.
- Elaboration. Cook the asparagus without leaving them too soft, drain and coat them in beaten egg and flour. We fry in abundant hot oil. As we take them out, we will place them on a plate covered with kitchen paper, so that they drain the oil. We undo the butter in a saucepan, over low heat, add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon to toast the flour a little. We change the spoon for a whisk and add the milk little by little. We stir well so that there are no lumps. Add the ground almonds, chopped parsley to taste, nutmeg and season. We will continue stirring until everything is well mixed and has thickened. Place the asparagus in a baking dish, cover with the béchamel sauce, leaving the tips exposed and grill them until the béchamel is golden brown.
Complete recipe | Battered asparagus with almond béchamel
White asparagus and feta salad
- Ingredients. 200 g of fresh white asparagus, 100 g of feta cheese, 1 ripe tomato, 50 g of red onion, 60 ml of oil, 30 ml of balsamic vinegar, 10 g of Dijon mustard, 3 g of fine herbs, salt and ground black pepper.
- Elaboration.We will make the vinaigrette by mixing the oil with the vinegar, the fine herbs, the mustard, salt and pepper.Then we are going to peel the asparagus, cut the hard part of the stem and put it to boil until they are tender. We are going to drain them and cut them into two or three depending on the size. Now we are going to cut the tomato into julienne strips and remove the seeds. We also cut the red onion into fine julienne strips. We put these two ingredients in a salad bowl and season. We crumble the feta cheese and add it to the tomato. Add the asparagus and stir everything well. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes covered and season with the vinaigrette.
Complete recipe | White asparagus and feta salad
Photos | Pixabay
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