How to make it

  • If using an asparagus pot, add enough water to come about 4 inches up the side of the pot. Otherwise, fill a large, wide-mouthed pot with water. Bring the water to a boil.
  • Using a vegetable peeler, remove the tough skin from the entire stalk of the asparagus. (Unlike green asparagus, white asparagus MUST be peeled, or it will be stringy.)
  • With a sharp utility knife, test the cut end for woodiness: if the stalk is difficult to cut, move up and try again. Wherever the knife penetrates easily, trim the stalk and discard the tough parts. (The fresher the asparagus, the less will need to be cut off and discarded.) Woody bits can also be cooked for stock.
  • Add butter and sugar to the boiling water.
  • If using a regular pot, tie the asparagus in a bundle with kitchen string and lower into the water. (If the asparagus is left loose, the boiling action may make the stalks bump into each other and break up.) The asparagus should be completely covered with water.
  • If using an asparagus pot, place the stalks in the steamer basket, cut ends down, and lower the basket into the water.
  • Cover the pot.
  • Boil/steam for 20-45 minutes, depending on the age and thickness of the stalks. Periodically check for doneness after 20 minutes have elapsed by sticking a sharp knife into a stalk. The asparagus is ready when the stalk yields easily to the knife.
  • Drain and serve. Classic combinations include: with Hollandaise sauce, with mayonnaise, with proscuitto, and with Black Forest Ham.

Reviews & Comments 1

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  • krumkake 10 years ago
    I love asparagus, but I have never tried the white. Your recipe has prompted me to put it on my grocery list because I believe I saw some at the market last week, so it must be in season here (is its season the same as green asparagus?). I'm looking forward to trying a new veggie this weekend! Thanks for the interesting post!!
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