White Gold

I received the loveliest note the other day from my friend and sometime neighbor Kim Gundle. She is quite the globetrotter and currently lives in the Netherlands but will be moving again soon.

She wrote:

“I wonder if anyone has told you about white gold? It is white asparagus, which is in season for only a few weeks each spring. Worth trying once, but you have to know the secret–you peel them. Yep, with a vegetable peeler. You don’t have to peel the bumpy head, but you peel them down until they are just a bit larger than a pencil. (They start off the size of quite large green asparagus). Then you can boil them, or I prefer sauteing them in a pan with a little olive oil and salt until soft and brown in places. Very delicate taste, and you can serve with a light cheese sauce or cold in a salad.”

I ate the yummiest white asparagus salad at a new favorite restaurant the other day. The asparagus was dressed with a creamy raspberry sauce on top of a green salad. The restaurant, Reizz, is a new find for us. Bistro atmosphere, delicious food, and great service. We went out early with the kids and they did well and hopefully didn’t bother too many other diners. The staff were sweet with them, which helps.

There was an entire spargel (asparagus) menu at Reizz. Germans seem to feel as passionate about white asparagus season as I do about South Carolina peach season.

I did try to cook white asparagus myself but didn’t peel it enough, and it was a little crunchy in the wrong sort of way.  I tried the sauteeing route and dressed the asparagus in a creamy balsamic vinaigrette, which was a good combo, but the texture is definitely key. A friend tells me I can actually have it peeled by a vendor (with a special 16-blade machine) in the MarktHalle here, so next year I’ll peel further or have it done for me.

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