Besides, dill is a very close friend of smoked salmon (think of the popular Swedish gravad lax cured salmon) so I thought I would go for a simple dill dressing. And why not make it a tad extra creamy and buttery and turn a classic bernaise sauce (or French sauce béarnaise) that is originally made with fresh tarragon into a savory refreshing dill version!
Yum, white asparagus with smoked salmon. Why the smoked salmon? White asparagus with smoked salmon are just made for each other! I love to serve this combo of 3 ingredients: cold smoked salmon, cooked lukewarm and tender al dente white asparagus topped with the freshly homemade dill bernaise. Absolutely delish, try it out!!
Do you like my white asparagus with smoked salmon? Also check out my Flemish style asparagus with crumbled eggs and melted butter!
- 8 thick fresh white asparagus
- 5,5 oz (155 g) thin sliced smoked salmon
- 3 tbsp yellow onion, chopped
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 3,5 oz (100 g) ice cold unsalted butter, diced
- a good handful fresh dill, chopped
- First off: peel the white asparagus. Place them horizontally flat 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 bottom part. Turn the asparagus as you go until you have removed every inch of the tough skin.
- Once you have peeled all the white asparagus, check the bottom parts and chop them off if they are dried out. Fill a large and wide pan with plenty of cold water and bring it to a gentle boil over medium heat. Then add the peeled white asparagus to the boiling water and cook them for about 6 to 8 minutes (depending on how thick they are) until the white asparagus are tender.
- Then drain the cooked white asparagus and keep them covered under some tinfoil until needed later on. In the meantime add the chopped yellow onion and the red wine vinegar to a medium saucepan and bring it to a gentle boil.
- Let the vinegar reduce fully. Then take the saucepan off the heat and let the onions cool for about 5 minutes. Then add the egg yolk. Season with a pinch of pepper and salt.
- Quickly whisk the yolk and the lukewarm cooked onion so it doesn't scramble. Put the saucepan back over very low heat.
- One by one add the pieces of the cold diced unsalted butter and continuously move it around on a fork until melted. Keep the heat very low.
- The sauce takes a while to come together, take your time. It needs to be done carefully so don't hurry or the creamy bernaise sauce will split. The sauce will slightly thicken and become creamy after a while. Season with another a pinch of pepper and salt. Then add the freshly chopped dill to the sauce.
- Check the seasoning and add extra pepper or salt to taste if necessary. Then take the saucepan with the dill bernaise sauce off the heat. Divide the thin slices of smoked salmon over plates and top with the cooked white asparagus. Drizzle the white asparagus with smoked salmon with the creamy dill bernaise sauce and serve immediately.
I hope you enjoyed these white asparagus with smoked salmon! Do give that dill bernaise sauce a try one day, you will love it! White asparagus are very popular in Belgium where I come from. Fresh white asparagus are at their best in April, May and June.
How to cook white asparagus? Well there are some methods to cook white asparagus. The most common way to cook white asparagus is to peel the white asparagus and to boil them in hot salted water. That’s the way I prepare them mostly. Easy and delicious! So how long do peeled white asparagus have to cook? Well that kind of depends on how thick or thin the white asparagus are. Thin asparagus only need 4 to 5 minutes, the thicker ones are usually cooked for 6 to 8 minutes. I like my cooked white asparagus quite al dente and still a little crunchy. That’s because I just hate mushy white asparagus! They make me think of the canned white asparagus that have absolutely nothing in common with freshly cooked white asparagus.
How do you cook spargel? Spargel is the German name for asparagus so cooking method is just the same: boil them. A traditional German white asparagus recipe contains boiled white asparagus topped with a creamy hollandaise sauce, a traditional white asparagus sauce. At times a poached egg is added as well.
How do you grill white asparagus? Peel the white asparagus, cut off the bottom parts (they might be dried out) and place the peeled white asparagus on a baking tray. Then brush the asparagus lightly with some olive oil and season them with a little pinch of pepper and salt. I sometimes rub the peeled asparagus with a sliced lemon if I have one in my fruit basket. Then place the baking tray with the white asparagus under a hot grill and grill the asparagus for 3 minutes. Then turn the asparagus and grill them for another 3 to 4 minutes. Check whether the grilled white asparagus are tender enough. Hey, you can even prepare them on a barbecue if you like!
How do you steam white asparagus? Again peel the white asparagus, cut off the bottom parts (they might be dried out) and place the peeled white asparagus in a steaming basket. You might have to chop them in half if the asparagus are too large to fit into the steaming basket. Then cover the basket and steam the asparagus over boiling water for about 4 to 5, depending again on how thick or thin the white asparagus are.
How to cook white asparagus in the oven? Peel the white asparagus, cut off the bottom parts (they might be dried out) and toss them with some olive oil. Place the white asparagus on a baking tray lined with some tinfoil and roast them in a preheated oven at 400°F (200°C). Roast the asparagus for about 10 minutes. Again, depending on how thick they are the cooking time will differ. Check the tenderness regularly.
Some people have asked me before what the difference is between white asparagus versus green asparagus. Apart from their color of course. White asparagus have to be peeled, their skins are not edible at all. Green asparagus have a more ‘vegetable’ flavour, kind of earthy and grassy. White asparagus are much sweeter and milder in taste and have a silkier texture.
What does white asparagus taste like? Good question. It’s hard to find a vegetable that is similar in taste, especially for the cooked white asparagus. Raw white asparagus are very crunchy and fresh, I would compare them with fresh endives or chicory.
What is purple asparagus? It’s closer to the green asparagus. Purple asparagus are preferably served raw. Cooking them will change their color from purple to green.
Here’s a sauteed white asparagus recipe!
Have you any idea what to do with a bunch of fresh white asparagus? I already showed you how to make white asparagus with smoked salmon above. Let’s cook up some baked white asparagus this time, ever thought of sauteed white asparagus? There’s so much more to do with white asparagus than just boiling or steaming them! You can even eat them raw in a carpaccio, check it out! Or turn them into a delicious white asparagus and fresh chervil broth…
Or why not just bake the white asparagus in a little knob of unsalted butter, plain and simple. Sauteed white asparagus. You will adore these caramelised asparagus! I admit I normally use just a little splash of olive and some pepper and salt. Nothing more. But this time I thought I would try something else, something different. So how about some unsalted butter, a tad of freshly grated lemon zest, a handful of toasted shaved almonds and some freshly chopped parsley. No way this little white asparagus cooking experiment can turn out wrong. Get those white asparagus nicely caramelized in the melted butter. Good pinch of pepper and salt in the end. Flavor bomb.
- 6 thick fresh white asparagus
- a good handful shaved almonds
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon zest, grated
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- Peel the white asparagus carefully using a vegetable peeler. Discard the tough skins. Then chop the cleaned white asparagus into bite-size pieces.
- Pour the shaved almonds in a small non-stick pan and place it over medium heat.
- Roast the shaved almond slivers for a couple of minutes until golden. Keep an eye on them, it goes fast and the almonds might burn. Toss the almonds almost continuously. Immediately transfer the roasted almonds to a clean plate and let them cool down fully. Don’t leave the shaved almonds to cool in the hot pan or they will burn and turn black.
- Next up melt the unsalted butter in a large non-stick pan and place it over medium-high heat. Let the butter melt fully and once that is done, add the chopped white asparagus bits.
- Stir well and bake the white asparagus in the melted butter for a couple of minutes. Season with a little pinch of pepper and salt. After that add the freshly grated lemon zest.
- Stir again and bake the white asparagus now for another 6 to 8 minutes until they are tender and cooked on the inside and golden and a little caramelized on the outside. Then stir in the freshly chopped parsley and half of the roasted shaved almonds.
- Give the baked white asparagus a last good stir. Then check the seasoning and add extra pepper or salt to taste if necessary. Transfer the baked white asparagus to a clean serving bowl and sprinkle with the rest of the roasted shaved almonds. Serve immediately while still hot.