Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

The Nuts and Bolts of White Asparagus

April 25, 2001|HANS ROCKENWAGNER

* Look for white asparagus at gourmet markets and well-stocked supermarkets; it sells for $6 a pound and up.

* If white asparagus spears appear to have dried out a bit, place them in cold water for 15 minutes before peeling. They will absorb some of the water and firm up for easier peeling.

* After peeling, wrap asparagus spears in wet towels or cheesecloth to keep them from drying out.

* If you are not going to serve asparagus immediately after cooking, briefly chill it in ice water and cool down the cooking liquid. You can then store the asparagus in the cooking liquid for up to two days in the refrigerator. To reheat, bring the cooking liquid to a simmer with the asparagus in it.

* If the asparagus seems too stringy after cooking, cut the tips (about 3 inches from the top). The tips are the most tender and flavorful part. The bottoms, which tend to be stringier, can be chopped and used for soup, ragouts or omelets.

* Make sure peeled, uncooked asparagus spears are not exposed to any unwanted odors while being stored. They are very porous and may absorb the odors.

* The best wine to drink with white asparagus is Grner Veltliner, Austria's most widely planted grape variety. Grner Veltliner is a pale, crisp, light-to-medium-bodied, slightly spicy wine with hints of rhubarb, citrus and minerals. It is the wine to drink with white asparagus and other notoriously hard-to-pair foods, such as artichokes, arugula and shrimp. If you can't find any Grner Veltliner, look for other grassy, dry white wines such as Austrian Rieslings, Alsatian Rieslings, German trocken (dry) or halb-trocken (half-dry) Rieslings or even some Sauvignon Blancs.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|