White asparagus shines in spring

By Mike Peters | China Daily | Updated: 2017-05-23 07:41

White asparagus shines in spring

Raw white asparagus salad. Photos provided to China Daily

It's been called "the vampire of the vegetable world", but with almost religious respect.

White asparagus, one of the special delights of spring menus, is cultivated underground - with soil heaped on the eagerly growing shoots as they emerge in warming weather. Protected from sunlight, they never produce chlorophyll, so they never turn green. The technique also makes the stalks mild-tasting and very tender.

"The delicately sweet spears," notes the Eating Well newsletter, "demand kid-glove treatment in the kitchen too:

Lay spears flat on a cutting board and peel the bottom two-thirds of each spear with a vegetable peeler.

Boil in a large skillet filled with several inches of water until very tender, 10 to 20 minutes. (Don't leave them tender-crisp as you might with green asparagus.)

The traditional way to eat them is with your fingers, dipping them in hollandaise sauce.

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