If I say “asparagus” you probably think of those green stalks with the reticulated tips. But green, definitely, green.
In Europe, asparagus is very popular, from Spain through Switzerland including France and the Netherlands and Poland and Italy. And in all those locations, they cultivate and relish the white variety. Less bitter and more tender than its green cousin, white asparagus does have a very, very tough and inedible outer skin that must be peeled off. And the asparagus has to be cooked in boiling water before using in the rest of the recipe.
I did say “tender,” didn’t I? Well that’s how.
This dish is very Central European. True, you are tasting butter and bread here along with the asparagus. True, too, butter and bread are not quite as healthy as the asparagus itself. But the combination is irresistible. Asparagus are over 90% water and low in sodium. By themselves they are truly healthy. Prepared here, and eaten in moderation, they are just slightly sinful.
This is an Austrian recipe. It’s the perfect side for a veal or pork main course.
Austrian White Asparagus with Brown Butter Sauce
Yield: serves 3
- 12 white asparagus
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 ounces butter
- 1 cup brioche crumbs
- 1 teaspoon freshly minced parsley leaves
Peel the asparagus. Line the asparagus from the spear end and cut into approximately 6-inch lengths. Discard the ends.
In a medium saucepan, bring salted water to a boil. Cook the asparagus for 10 to 12 minutes until tender, being careful not to overcook.
Drain the asparagus. Set aside. In a large sauté pan, heat the butter. Add the brioche crumbs and sauté until golden. Add the reserved asparagus and sauté until well coated with the browned butter and crumbs. Sprinkle with parsley, season with salt and pepper. Serve warm.
Photo Information: Canon T2i, 18-55MM Macro lens, F/2.8, 1/80th second, ISO 800