How to cook white asparagus

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White asparagus in Spain is something really delicate. The best ones are certificated as Specific Designation of Origin “Espárrago de Navarra” which included the asparagus grown in Aragón, Navarra y La Rioja with the quality requirements laid down by the regulator. These asparaguses are whiter, with a soft texture and a delicate taste.

There are a lot of recipes to cook white asparagus but, from my point of view, the best way to taste its delicate flavour is eating them just boiled and dressed with vinegar and extra virgin olive oil or a sauce.

If you have the chance to buy fresh white asparagus, you will be able to taste its scrumptious flavour.

I was in Spain last weekend and my hometown is part of the Specific Designation of Origin “Espárrago de Navarra” so the groceries are now full of white, big and gorgeous white asparagus. My mum had a big bunch from a friend’s allotment and she couldn’t resist dropping some into my luggage. So I will cook them for dinner tonight.

If you can not get them from Spain, I recommend you to pass by the Market Square in Cambridge as the vegetable and fruit stall sometimes has too so if you see white asparagus, have a go!

The starting point to enjoy the white asparagus is to cook them properly.

How to boil white asparagus

1.- Wash thoroughly the asparagus to remove any dirt and soil.

2.- With a peeler, peel the asparagus and cut the end (roughly 4 centimetres).

3.- Tie the asparagus in a brunch.

4.- In a deep pot, pour 2 litres of water, a tablespoon of salt and a teaspoon of sugar and put in a high heat until bring to boil.

5.- When the water starts to boil put the brunch of white asparagus and turn the heat until medium level.

6.- Put the asparagus into the deep pan but be aware that the water doesn’t have to cover the tips. Boil the asparagus for 10-15 minutes or until they are tender.

7.- Remove the deep pot from the heat and flip the asparagus to cook the tips for a couple of minutes.

8.- Drain them and let them cool down.

To dress the asparagus you just can season with vinegar and extra virgin olive oil, with a vinaigrette, or with a sauce. Here you have the recipe for the bearnaise sauce I made for white asparagus a while ago.

Buen provecho!

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