Preparing Fresh White Asparagus
Credit: Frieder BlickleSERVES 2 - 4
Unlike its green-skinned counterpart, white asparagus has a tough, bitter peel that must be removed before cooking. The following is the classic way of preparing the treasured vegetable in Germany (though simple steaming is also popular).
16 cups water
2 tbsp. salt
4 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
3 tbsp. butter
1-2 lbs. fresh white asparagus
1. Bring water, salt, lemon juice, and butter to a simmer in a large pot over medium heat.
2. Meanwhile, trim about 1/2'' from the ends of white asparagus. Lay spears on a work surface, then peel thin skin from each with a sharp swivel-blade vegetable peeler, starting 1 1/2'' from the top and running the length of the spear. (Spears are brittle and can snap when peeled in midair.)
3. Gather spears into 2-4 bundles, tie loosely with kitchen string, and lower into simmering water. Cook, increasing heat to medium-high to maintain a simmer if necessary, until tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, 8-30 minutes, depending on thickness of asparagus. Lift bundles from simmering water with kitchen tongs and drain on paper towels.