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May 8, 2008 09:50 PM

White Asparagus

In the last several years, I had the good fortune to visit Germany, Belgium, Austria etc during Spring time and feast myself on white asparagus. They are usually steamed (I think) and served with butter and boiled new potatoes.

I saw some white asparagus for sale at Russo's - from Peru. I'm a bit hesitant to buy them and attempt to cook them myself.

Does anyone know of any restaurants that serve these?

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  1. white asparagus in europe is only available for a short time a month or so when it is in season, the reason it tastes so good is because it is incredibly fresh. white asparagus from peru has much less flavor and inferior texture

    1. At Chez Henri this week, white asparagus accompanied my seared tuna entree. They were easily the best part of the dish.

      The highlight of the entire meal, however, was their chocolate tres leches cake.

      2 Replies
      1. re: finlero

        I took a look at their website, and the online menu had haricot verts as the side dish for the tuna. I'd much prefer white asparagus to haricot verts!

        1. re: y2000k

          Yeah, Chez Henri can be a little slow updating their website (their online wine list is hell and gone from their current inventory), but as Atos said, the growing season is short enough that they may simply not be available long enough to post it online.

      2. Looking at the online menus of a few of my other upscale favorites around Cambridge, I currently see white asparagus at Upstairs on the Square (Slow-Baked Atlantic Salmon
        with White Asparagus, Lightly-Pickled Rhubarb & Mint) and Salts (Lightly smoked Tasmanian Sea Trout with potato gnocchi, white asparagus, and Mimosa sauce).

        I'd also be shocked (shocked!) if Tony Maws wasn't doing something with it at Craigie Street.

        2 Replies
        1. re: finlero

          Thank you so much! The choice at Upstairs on the Sq is part of the tasting menu. I didn't see it in the regular menu.

          I looked at Salts also. Apart from the entree you posted, it also has
          French white Asparagus with house cured jamon, soft cooked farm egg, hazelnut, and age Parmesan
          as appetizer.

          I might go try Salts next week then.

          I wonder where they get the white asparagus? Local? Germany? Peru?

          1. re: y2000k

            One of the cool things about Salts and Craigie is their eat-local ethos.

            Salts actually has a namesake farm in Vermont from whence comes much of their produce. And Craigie has even gone so far as to do special localvore dinners where everything comes from within 50 miles of Cambridge.

            Having said that, I don't know if white asparagus are available locally yet, and honestly, I'm guessing no. But rest assured, if it's possible to get them locally, Salts and Craigie will be doing so.

        2. The ones at Russo's are fine. They are quite sweet - at least the batch I cooked was. I roast them in a pan with oil, salt and garlic after trimming the ends.

          1 Reply
          1. re: lergnom

            they are fine, just not as good as their german "brothers"
            once I got a whole box of white asparagus from peru at the haymarket for $3!!
            makes pretty good creme soup

          2. I had lunch yesterday at L'Espalier with my husband and there was a white asparagus dish that was part of the Spring Degustation menu. My husband had it, and I stole a bite, and can report the dish was excellent. I believe the waiter told us it was poached in milk or cream flavored with vanilla bean. It was served with some crispy prosciutto.