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Category: Vegetables

Basic white asparagus

Basic white asparagus
Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

A springtime menu in Germany, Alsace, Austria or Switzerland may read as follows: white asparagus with smoked salmon, white asparagus with new potatoes, white asparagus with veal in morel sauce. The spargelkarte (white asparagus menu) always lists the white asparagus ... Read more

Active work time: 15 minutes | Total preparation time: 25 minutes | Serves 2 to 4
Note: A classic way of preparing white asparagus.
  • 4 quarts water
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 to 2 pounds white asparagus

Step 1Bring the water to a simmer in a large pot with the salt, lemon juice, butter and sugar.

Step 2Meanwhile, trim about 1/2 inch from the ends of the asparagus. Lay the spears on a work surface and peel them with a sharp vegetable peeler, starting about 1 1/2 inches from the top and running evenly down the length of each spear. (Spears are brittle and can snap when peeled in midair.) Gather the spears into 2 to 4 bundles and tie them loosely with kitchen string, then lower them into the simmering water.

Step 3Cook, increasing the heat to maintain a simmer, if necessary, until the asparagus is tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, anywhere between 8 and 30 minutes, depending on the thickness of the spears. Lift the bundles from the water with kitchen tongs and drain them on paper towels.

Each of 4 servings:
54 calories; 618 mg sodium; 3 mg cholesterol; 2 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 8 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams protein; 2.71 grams fiber.
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