Monday, April 16, 2012

White asparagus with truffle butter

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Steamed white asparagus dressed in truffle butter
My local Costco continues to surprise me. Yesterday I went into the cold room to pick up my staples - lettuce, Persian cucumbers and blackberries - only to be confronted by a huge pile of white asparagus. Each bag held 1.75 pounds of beautiful Peruvian white asparagus. I believe I shrieked and did a little dance, much to the delight and/or annoyance of the many Costco shoppers around me.

White asparagus is grown in the dark, buried up to its neck in dirt, which keeps the plant from producing chlorophyll and blanches the stalks. It's milder and sweeter than green asparagus. I steamed it soft, then threw on a few knobs of homemade truffle butter I'd been keeping in the freezer for just such an occasion. A treat of a side dish, only possible for a few weeks of the year.

Note 1: If you're fussy about stringy things between your teeth, peel the spears before steaming them. I don't mind the fibers, but cooked white asparagus is a lot easier to bite into when it's been peeled.

Note 2: I make my own truffle butter every summer for Trufflepalooza, my multi-course truffle extravaganza, so I've always got some in the freezer. What? You don't? No worries - you can buy truffle butter at most gourmet stores. Or cheat and use regular butter and a splash of truffle oil. I won't tell and it will still be delicious.

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White asparagus with truffle butter
White asparagus, available for only a few weeks each year, are milder and sweeter than their green brethren. A knob of fragrant truffle butter lifts a simple side dish to new heights.
  • 2 pounds white asparagus
  • 2 Tbsp truffle butter
  • sea salt
Wash the asparagus spears and trim off the woody ends. You can peel the stalks if you insist on getting rid of all the fibrous strings, although I don't mind them myself and never peel.Place a steamer basket in a large pot with a few inches of water in the bottom. Lay the asparagus in the basket, cover the pot, and turn up the heat. Steam the asparagus about 6-8 minutes, until they are very tender but not falling apart.Place the asparagus on a platter, dot with the truffle butter, and sprinkle with salt to taste. Serve immediately. It is perfectly acceptable and even encouraged at my table to eat asparagus spears with your fingers.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6-8 servings


Marnely Rodriguez-Murray said...

So simple yet looks so decadent!

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

I saw these at Costco the other day and wasn't sure how to prepare them. Now I know!

Gerry @Foodness Gracious said...

Costco does have some strange sales sometimes, I once was lucky enough to pick up a giant bag of chanterelles and kinda did the same happy dance thing :)

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