Asparagus has arrived in the produce section at Jungle Jim's! You'll find bundles of tender stalks of white, green and purple asparagus carefully nestled in the chipped ice. We brought some up to the Cooking School to use for testing recipes for upcoming classes and had to get a photograph to show off the beautiful colors.
If you are unfamiliar with the white and purple varieties, consider giving them a try. White asparagus is simply green asparagus grown beneath a layer of hay or soil which prevents photosynthesis from occurring. Fresh white asparagus will have a slightly crunchier texture than the green or purple varieties. Purple asparagus may be a bit sweeter than the green and white types. We have noted that during cooking, the purple asparagus will lose some of it's color when heated, so don't be alarmed or dismayed when the brilliant color fades.
You can prepare cleaned asparagus in several ways:
- To blanch for as an appetizer, place in boiling water for 15 seconds (small spears) and 30 second (large spears). Rinse under cold water to set the color. Transfer to a clean towel to dry. Season with salt and pepper.
- To grill, lightly coat the spears in olive oil. Place the spears perpendicular to the grates and grill for 2 or more minutes depending on thickness. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- To roast, spread the spears on a baking sheet and toss with olive oil. Roast at 425 degrees for 7-12 minutes depending on thickness. Season with salt and pepper.
A Note from Leigh