This carpaccio of white asparagus is a fresh, very easy and tasty appetizer recipe for your next hot summer garden party. At least if April, May and June (that’s me!) are hot enough to call it summer… ’cause if you ask me white asparagus are at their best in those very months. From the end of April until the end of June, that’s the best time to eat white asparagus.
My hometown Mechelen is famous in Belgium for this delicious white gold but mind you, I ate the same quality white asparagus in France, Italy and Germany as well. I wouldn’t try this carpaccio of white asparagus with green asparagus though. They are absolutely not the same. Raw green asparagus, too chewy. There are many ways to prepare white asparagus: you can steam, cook, bake or even fry them in tempura batter! But I also prefer raw asparagus.
Carpaccio of White Asparagus
This carpaccio of white asparagus is very easy to make. What do raw white asparagus taste like? You can compare their taste best with raw endives (chicory): juicy, crunchy and fresh. And that’s a good match for the sesame dressing. I also like to toast the sesame seeds a little. Gives it extra flavor.
After peeling the white asparagus don’t throw away the though skins! Do just like Luc’s grandmother used to do: cook them in some light vegetable or chicken stock together with a clove of garlic, strain the broth and add freshly chopped chervil, pepper, salt and a few bits of crunchy white asparagus to it. There you go: a fresh and light asparagus broth from scratch!
I prepared this carpaccio of white asparagus in Belgium and I took the chance to sprinkle the appetizer with some freshly peeled grey North Sea shrimp or brown shrimp. Those are a very popular ingredient in Belgium. Can’t you find those where you live? You can leave them out. This carpaccio will still be amazing without.
Check out my other cooked white asparagus recipes as well: Flemish style white asparagus with crumbled egg and butter, cooked white asparagus with a North Sea shrimp salad and cooked white asparagus with smoked salmon and homemade dill bernaise sauce!
- 2 fresh white asparagus
- 1 tsp sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp fresh tarragon chopped
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tbsp good quality olive oil
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- a handful grey North Sea shrimp peeled (optional)
- First peel the asparagus. Place them horizontally on a clean chopping board and hold them with one hand by their heads. Then with your free hand carefully run a vegetable peeler from the heads towards the cut end. Turn the asparagus as you go until you have removed every inch of the tough skin.
- Trim the bottom part now (you can also add these to your chervil soup) to add some extra crunch.
- Once peeled, slice the asparagus lengthwise into thin strips while holding the head steady. Don't push too hard because the asparagus breaks easily.
- In a small cup or glass combine the sesame oil, the olive oil and the white wine vinegar. Season with a little pepper and salt. Stir these ingredients into a light dressing.
- Check the seasoning of the dressing and add extra salt, pepper or white wine vinegar to taste if necessary. Place the curly strips of shaved white asparagus onto plates and drizzle with the dressing. Finish with a little pinch of salt, the chopped tarragon and the sesame seeds. Serve the carpaccio chilled.