White Asparagus – Limburg style

White asparagus

White asparagus

It’s now the white asparagus season. The asparagus season is a big thing in Germany, Netherlands, France and Belgium, it starts end of April and ends end of June. Every restaurants has a menu promoting their white asparagus dishes from asparagus kroketten to asparagus as main.

On the first day of arriving in Maastricht, the first meal at home was the Limburg asparagus boiled and served with patatoes, cooked ham and an egg. It was yummy. I wish white asparagus could be available all year round.

White asparagus

My actual first white asparagus meal in Maastricht, looked so beautiful i had to take picture of it

The dish is very simple to make, however I am not sure if you can find it in Asia during the season.

Ingredients (for each person):

  • 8 white asparagus
  • 50 gram cooked ham – 2 pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 2 potatoes
  • Salt
  • Butter
  • Parsley
  • Nutmeg powder (optional)

First, you need to choose the good quality white asparagus, they should have this white glowing look. To break asparagus (this technic works for all other asparagus as well), hold your right hand (if you are right handed) to the root end and left hand hold 2/3 down from the other end and bend the asparagus. The asparagus will break at the point where the dry part meets the fresh and moist part.

breaking white asparagus

Breaking white asparagus

White asparagus

The bottom part breaks naturally

Peel the skin carefully. Since the white asparagus is grown covered in the soil without meeting sun to avoid the photosyntesis process, the skin is white in colour, just like the meat. Make sure all the skin are off or the skin will ruin the taste of the dish.

Peeled asparagus

Asparagus ready for boiling

Before cooking the asparagus, start boiling your potatoes (whole, without pealing or cutting) ahead of everything else. It takes up to 20 minutes to have the potatoes properly cooked. Boiled potatoes should be started with cool water, this will allow for better and more even heat penetration. Add 1 tablespoon salt into the water at the beginning.

Potatoes boiled in salty water

Potatoes boiled in salty water

Boil your egg in a separate pot for 7 minutes. When the egg is done, put it in cold water immediately and this will make pealing the eggs shell easier.

In another separate pot, put in sufficient water (needs to cover the asparagus), add some salt, wait for the water to boil and put in your asparagus. The official boiling time for asparagus is 12 minutes, you can boil it slightly longer if you like it more cooked. Personally I prefer it 12 minutes.

Now the potatoes should be ready, pour away the water, let them dry a few seconds, add a chunk of butter on the potatoes, close the lid and let it melt in the steam. Do the same to your asparagus at the end of boiling. Separately, also melt some butter (you can do this less messy in microwave, one less pan to wash!).

White asparagus

Throw in the butter into asparagus, close the lid and gently mix well when butter is melted

Now assemble the egg, ham, asparagus and potatoes on your plate. Pour the melted butter on your asparagus and sprinkle some parsley and nutmeg powder on the asparagus too. Apparently too much nutmeg powder will make one high *wink wink*, don’t OD yourself with it on purpose.

White asparagus

Pouring the melted butter on top of the asparagus

Now, let’s move to the technique of eating this dish. Mesh the potatoes, egg and ham together, mix well. Some white asparagus fanatic eater would spend 5 minutes just in the meshing up process (!), some people are very serious about the white asparagus eating. You can now eat your asparagus together with the meshed ingredients.

White asparagus

Simple yet delicious asparagus prepared in Limburg style

White asparagus

Start meshing up the egg, potatoes and ham

White asparagus

After 2 minutes, I am happy with the meshing up result, remember not to mesh your asparagus!

Most people don’t do this if they are eating the dish in a restaurant, supposedly meshing the food in your plate is not a good table manner practice. But if you are eating this at home, do it!

If you do see the white asparagus in your supermarket (there might be some chances to find them in Cold Storage before the season finish), try this white asparagus. Here they eat the dish as lunch or dinner, I can eat this for breakfast!


About MyTasteHisTaste

Love eating and wine drinking.
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2 Responses to White Asparagus – Limburg style

  1. Willem says:

    I remember when I was a kid, in asparagus season I always ran out first thing in the morning after waking up, to ‘stab’ asparagus. We grew them in the garden. You put heaps of sandy earth on the plant when it comes up. This way the stalk will grow easily towards the light, while staying white because we will not let it reach the light… Besides colour, there is a taste effect.
    In the morning I could see the earth cracking at some spots. This is where you gently dig a bit of earth off, and then stab the asparagus about 20cm deep. Cover the hole, and go.
    On sunny days we had enough every two days. The first day we kept them in wet cloth in the fridge to keep them fresh.

    I was so lucky, eating them three days a week at least! Of the broken of stalks we made soup, also very nice, with some cream.

    Asparagus for me are the symbol of the nice outside living times starting 🙂

    The classic wine combi with this dish is a Pinot Blanc from the French Elzas region. As always, don’t take the cheapest, and go for a recent year for freshness.
    I agree with this match, but it has been lauded a bit too much in regional marketing campaigns.
    Nice winemakers for pinot blanc are Paul Blanck, Marcel Deiss, Josmeyer, Kreydenweiss, Albert Mann. Personally I have good memories of the Schaetzel Pinot Blanc.

    Myself, I like a Southern Burgundy, white of course, even more with buttery asparagus. They have some acidity and are full enough to match the soft sweetness in the veg, and they go very well with the butter sauce. Go Macon-Villages, Saint Veran, Pouilly Fuisse and the likes of them. These are chardonnay wines, but in a much fresher style than the ubiquitous ‘New World’ chardonnay. The latter I would not often advice for this dish.

    When you use less butter, or with green asparagus, I like Sauvignon Blanc as a match. The richer New Zealand ones like Framingham, Oyster Bay, or the best from Saint Clair. Errazuriz in Chili makes a nice wild fermented SB too. And of course the better from the original region from this grape, the Loire in France, has nice ones coming form villages like Sancerre and Pouilly Fume. I like Henri Bourgeois as a winemaker for these.

  2. Heather says:

    I loveeee asparagus! and ur recipe looks so easy and delish, I’m def gonna try it soon.
    … I just hate the smell in the toilet after eating it :p

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