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It is white asparagus season, keys to choose them and recipes to use them

22 mayo, 2021

As the saying goes, those of April for me, those of May for the master and those of June … for none. And is that April is the best month to buy and prepare fresh asparagus. Today we are going to dedicate this article to white asparagus, which are at their best, despite the fact that there are problems with their collection, due to restrictions due to covid-19.

The white asparagus, we find it canned throughout the year, but no matter how good the brand of canned food we buy, there is nothing like consuming fresh asparagus in season, -and if we want, cook them at home and make our own homemade preserves-. For many, including myself, asparagus is a delicious delicacy, which also has many properties.

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Asparagus cultivation

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If asparagus are grown leaving the sun to shine on them, they develop chlorophyll and they are green or wild asparagus. If they are buried cultivating only the bud, you get the white asparagus that you have to collect by hand by opening the groove and taking them out, taking care not to break them.

When it comes to finding them in the market, their price depends on their caliber, being the thickest the most expensive, the medium, the perfect ones for home canning and home consumption, and the finest, those used for creams, inexpensive preserves or for use in recipes in which they are not protagonists but rather complementary ingredients.

Nutritional value

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Fresh asparagus has a high water content. Its sugar and fat content is very low and it is one of the vegetables richest in protein. In addition, they contain a high fiber content. Hence its use in diets as they are diuretic, satiating and very low in calories.

With regard to vitamins, white asparagus has a high content of folates, provitamin A or beta-carotene) as well as the presence of vitamins C and E, all of which are considered antioxidants. Regarding minerals, asparagus contains iron, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium and iodine.

Uses in the kitchen

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There are many ways to use asparagus in the kitchen: we can include them in a good salad, take them cooked alone, with a good homemade mayonnaise, or with a little pink sauce, or use them for cooking, with any of the recipes that we propose to you. continuation.

How to cook white asparagus at home: the recipe that does not fail

Recipes to enjoy the best seasonal asparagus

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So that you can make these recipes throughout the year, we have included both recipes with fresh seasonal white asparagus, as well as those made with canned asparagus.

In the latter, if you have fresh asparagus, the first operation will be to peel and cook them as explained here. So you can then follow the steps of the recipes in which cooked or canned asparagus is indicated.

Fresh steamed asparagus with yogurt, lemon and dill sauce

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Today fresh white asparagus is usually sold quite clean, so I prefer to peel it before running it through water, as it will be easier. With a vegetable peeler or a good knife, peel the outer layer of each asparagus by removing thin strips from just below the tips.

Now wash with cold water and dry well. Press the lower end and bend it gently, the stud itself will break for 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 the time.

Complete cooking it will depend on the thickness and our taste, but in any case it is advisable not to go over and leave it slightly al dente. Remove from the heat and let it warm.

Drain the liquid from the yogurt to make it thicker and mix with a drizzle of olive oil, dill, a few drops of lemon juice and its fine 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, without overdoing it. Also can be stored in the fridge to take them cold.

More details, in the full recipe

Warm cream of asparagus with cockles

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  • Ingredients: Natural canned cockles of 120 g, 500 g of canned white asparagus, 200 g mayonnaise, 30 g of extra virgin olive oil, ground black pepper and chopped fresh chives
  • Elaboration: We start by straining the cockles through a fine mesh strainer placed over a bowl, we also reserve the liquid. Put the asparagus with its liquid, the mayonnaise, the oil, the pepper and the liquid from the cockles in a bowl and blend them with a blender. If we do it with the Thermomix, we crush 1 min / speed 10. Then, we place the cream in a bowl and heat it until it boils. If we do it with the Thermomix, we do not need to remove the cream from the glass and heat it 3 min / 60ºC / speed 2.5. Spread the cream and distribute the chives on top, serve with the cockles.

More details in the full recipe

Hake recipe in green sauce

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  • Ingredients: 4 slices of hake, 125 g onion, 2 cloves of garlic, white wine, 100 ml, fish broth or stock, 200 ml, 10 g of wheat flour, extra virgin olive oil, salt, fresh parsley (in abundance) , 12 Clams and 12 Canned White Asparagus
  • Elaboration: Peel and mince the garlic cloves and sauté them in a low saucepan, taking care not to burn them (so that they do not make the final result bitter). Add the grated onion and fry over a very low heat until well poached and translucent. Add the tablespoon of flour, stir well and sauté for a couple of minutes. Pour in the white wine and the broth, stir so that no lumps are formed with the flour and cook for ten minutes so that the sauce locks up. Meanwhile we chop a good handful of fresh parsley leaves and add them to the casserole along with the hake slices, previously seasoned, and the clams (if using them). To cook the hake faster, cover the casserole and cook over medium heat for five minutes or until the clams have opened and the hake is done (this will depend on the thickness of the slices). We drain the asparagus and cut them into three pieces, decorating each dish with them before serving.

More details, in the full recipe

White asparagus and feta salad

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  • Ingredients: 200 g of fresh white asparagus, 100 g of feta cheese, 1 ripe tomato, 50 g red onion, sunflower oil, 60 ml, Modena vinegar, 30 ml, 10 g of Dijon mustard, 3 g of Fine Herbs, Salt and ground black pepper
  • Elaboration: To begin, we will make the vinaigrette by mixing, vigorously in a bowl, the oil with the balsamic vinegar, the fine herbs, the mustard, salt and pepper. We will thus obtain a slightly thick vinaigrette that we will pour into the salad just before serving. Next we are going to peel the asparagus, cut the hard part of the stem and put it to boil for about 10 to 12 minutes in salted water. We are going to drain them and cut them into two or three depending on the size. If they bought asparagus already cooked they will simply have to be rinsed in clear water and drained before cutting. 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 place these two ingredients in a salad bowl and season with salt and pepper. We crumble the feta cheese and add it to the tomato. Add the asparagus and stir everything well. Cover the salad bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Before serving, remove from the refrigerator, add the balsamic vinaigrette and stir everything carefully.

More details, in the full recipe

Pickled white asparagus

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  • Ingredients: Canned white asparagus, 250 g, 150 g Carrot, 125 g Onion, 2 Garlic cloves, 100 g Red pepper, Extra virgin olive oil, 50 ml, Water, 50 ml, White wine vinegar, 80 ml, Tomato concentrate, 1/2 teaspoon, 1 bay leaf, fresh thyme, cumin, sugar, 1 teaspoon
  • 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 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. We 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 take them.

More details, in the full recipe

Asparagus mousse

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  • Ingredients: 25 g of butter, 50 g of leek, 50 g of onion, 175 g of cooked white asparagus, 30 g of vegetable broth, 1 sheet of gelatin, 1 XL egg white, salt, black pepper, 20 g of cheese grated to decorate, 5 g of fine wild asparagus, 1 slice of Serrano ham.
  • Elaboration. Heat the butter in a saucepan, add the finely chopped onion and leek and cook over low heat for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, drain the asparagus and dry with absorbent paper. We cut them into two or three pieces and add them to the casserole along with the vegetable broth. Let it cook over low heat until there are no remains of broth. Hydrate the gelatin sheet in a bowl with plenty of cold water for five minutes. Crush the asparagus mixture and pass it through a fine mesh strainer. Season to taste and add the hydrated and drained gelatin. We stir until integrating and let it temper for a few minutes. We mount the white and mix it with the puree little by little, with enveloping movements and making sure to integrate the added before adding more. We transfer to four glasses and let it rest in the fridge to take shape …