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Spargelzeit: German White Asparagus

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White asparagus is a delicious spring side dish, popular in Germany during the season of Spargelzeit, and perfect as an Easter side dish, Mother’s Day, or any meal during spring.

Spargelzeit: Advent of the German White Asparagus Season | 31Daily.com

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White asparagus is ubiquitous in Germany during springtime. The season of Spargelzeit, (literally, “asparagus time”) begins in April and traditionally lasts until June 24, the feast of St. John the Baptist.

What is White Asparagus?

To obtain the white, tender, and somewhat sweet version of asparagus, farmers limit the plant’s light intake, burying it like a treasure under mounds of soil.

If you stand in a field of white asparagus before and during harvest time, you see nothing green — only row after row of mounded soil. The mounds cover the shoots and block their sunlight intake.

As a result, chlorophyll production is prevented, and the white tips barely peek up out of the soil when they are harvested.

Each delectable spear is loaded with calcium, potassium, phosphorus, vitamins A, B1, B2, C, E, and folic acid.

White and Green Asparagus Bundles

What is the Difference Between White and Green Asparagus

Unlike its green asparagus, white asparagus or Spargelzeit has a tough, bitter outer layer that must be removed before cooking.

White German Asparagus with Hollandiase Sauce and edible herbs and flowers

How to Serve German White Asparagus

The following recipe is the classic way of preparing this treasured vegetable in Germany, although simple steaming is also popular.

Garnish the tops with snipped spring chives, or serve with a delicious hollandaise sauce on the side.

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Plate of German White Asparagus with fresh snipped chives

Spargelzeit : German White Asparagus

Yield: 4 to 8 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

White asparagus is a delicious spring side dish, popular in Germany during the season of Spargelzeit, and perfect as an Easter side dish, Mother's Day, or any meal during spring.

Ingredients

  • 16 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1-2 lb. fresh white asparagus

Instructions

  1. Bring water, salt, lemon juice, and butter to a simmer in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Meanwhile, trim about 1⁄2-inch from the ends of the white asparagus. Then lay spears on a work surface and peel thin skin from each with a 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. Maintain a simmer and cook until the asparagus is fork-tender. This will take between 8 and 30 minutes, depending on the thickness of the asparagus spears.
  4. Lift bundles from simmering water with kitchen tongs and drain on paper towels.

Notes

How Many Servings Are in 1 Pound of Asparagus Spears?

One pound of asparagus generally contains 14 or 15 spears. It will make 2 to 4 servings for every pound.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 65Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 1655mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 3g

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