You most likely already know about and have tried green asparagus as it continues to climb the consumption charts in North America but white asparagus might be a little more foreign to you. To our friends across the pond in Europe, it is already a serious favorite and commonly known as “White Gold”. They even have festivals to celebrate the harvests throughout springtime.
White asparagus is the same variety as its green counterpart, it’s just grown a little differently. It is white because it is grown under the soil and remains covered as it grows, never being exposed to sunlight. Without sunlight, photosynthesis is unable to take place therefore preventing the production of chlorophyll and that green color. Not only is it white, but its stalks are more tender than green asparagus and its flavor is a little milder. White asparagus is usually a little longer, thicker, and more fibrous than green asparagus as well.
We love it for its flavor and tenderness but it is also really good for you too! It is low in calories, containing only twenty calories per 100g, and it is an excellent source of Vitamin C, a good source of vitamin A, and rich in folic acid and antioxidants.
If you haven’t tried white asparagus yet, we are here to tell you that it’s an absolute must!
Remember that white asparagus needs to be peeled before cooking!
BOIL: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 tbsp. salt, 1 tbsp. sugar, and about ¼ cup of lemon juice (to prevent discoloration) to the boiling water. Next, add the bundle of asparagus and cook for about 10-15 minutes or until the asparagus is tender enough to pierce with a fork. Once done, drain the water and remove the asparagus.
GRILL: Drizzle the spears with olive oil and salt. Place the spears on an uncovered grill (med-low heat). While cooking, turn the asparagus frequently. The spears are ready when they have light grill marks on each side (7 – 15 minutes depending on size and temperature of grill).
BAKE: Preheat the oven to 400F. Drizzle the spears with olive oil and salt. Lay spears on a baking sheet and cook for 15 – 25 minutes. When the spears are done, you can toss them with butter and serve.