I’ve been asparagus obsessed lately, guys. Ever since I talked about purple and white asparagus (here), I’ve been on a mission to try them both. So far I’ve only found white asparagus, but you can be sure that if (WHEN) I find purple, it will be amazing. I’m sure of it. I found white asparagus in the ‘Scratch n Dent’ food section at Jungle Jim’s (Did you even know that was a thing??? I believe it’s similar to the “Manager Specials” marked-down food at Kroger, but it’s all gathered conveniently in one insanely awesome, if easy to completely miss, section.) Yes, Jungle Jim’s, I will take your marked-down and perfect-looking produce and cook it right away! This Braised White Asparagus is cooked with white wine and fresh herbs, and makes a deliciously fresh spring-time side dish.
What’s the deal with white asparagus, you ask? It’s grown underneath soil instead of above-ground, so it doesn’t have any chlorophyll to make it green. It also has a tougher skin, so it’s a good idea to peel it before cooking. Just use a vegetable peeler and go around the outside of each stalk. What about the taste? It doesn’t taste the same, but it also doesn’t taste extremely different. It’s got a lighter flavor, and raw it almost tasted a little bit like watercress. By the way, you can DEFINITELY use this recipe for green asparagus too! Just skip the peeling part (unless you have especially thick green asparagus, or happen to love peeled asparagus more).
Making Braised White Asparagus
To make this Braised White Asparagus, sear your asparagus for a few minutes on both sides, and then simmer it in white wine and vinegar for another few minutes until it’s tender. Cook-time will depend on how big your stalks are, and also older asparagus takes longer to cook than fresh. If your asparagus came from your garden or from a farmer’s market- reduce the cook time a little. When the asparagus is tender, take it out of the wine, and then stir in butter or coconut oil and some herbs. Butter will give you a thicker sauce, coconut oil will leave your sauce thinner (like a vinaigrette), but both are delicious. Pour the sauce over the cooked asparagus and serve your veggies hot. If you’re feeling extra fancy, top the asparagus with some more fresh herbs, and dig in.
Braised White Asparagus
- 1 bunch white asparagus (if subbing green asparagus, skip peeling unless its extremely thick)
- 1 TB olive oil OR coconut oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 TB white wine vinegar
- 1 TB butter OR coconut oil
- 4-5 sprigs of Italian parsley and rosemary, plus more for garnish (optional)
Remove the woody ends and peel outer skin off asparagus. Heat oil on medium-high in a large sauté pan. When oil begins to shimmer, place asparagus in a single layer and sprinkle with salt. Allow asparagus to sear about 3-4 minutes per side (they should begin to brown- very thin asparagus may cook more quickly).
Reduce heat to medium. Carefully (they'll splash back at you) pour wine and vinegar into pan and cover. Simmer liquids until they begin to reduce and the asparagus is tender (about 4-5 minutes, depending on thickness of asparagus).
Remove asparagus and continue to allow wine to reduce. Stir in butter or coconut oil and herbs and continue to reduce for 1-2 more minutes. Pour wine mixture over asparagus, garnish with fresh herbs (optional), and serve immediately.
Recipe inspired by: Edible Santa Fe