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White Salad Asparagus
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White Salad asparagus maintains the appearance of true pencil asparagus varieties with its ultra slender knobby stalks and cruciferous-tree shaped tips, it separates itself from common green and white asparagus with its individual natural sweetness, color and texture. An average harvested stalk of white Salad asparagus measures three to six inches with a diameter of a mere 1/8 inch. Its coloring is not necessarily white, rather an extremely pale cornflower yellow with an ivory white flesh. White Salad asparagus' flesh is snappy and crisp, a reflection of its lack of exposure to sun. Its flavors are inherently sweet, nutty-forward with notes of almond, pine nuts and subtle grassiness, unlike common asparagus which has more overt tones of grass and earth.
White Salad asparagus is available year-round.
Asparagus is a member of the lily family. White Salad asparagus is derived from the same varieties as green asparagus, however its growing method separates it from other varieties; while being cultivated, it has never seen the light of day, removing chlorophyl from the equation. Therefor it matures without color, making it the albino version of asparagus.
White Salad asparagus contains antioxidant properties from the presence of both phenolic acids and flavonoids. Made up of 95% water, this asparagus contains small amounts of protein, carbohydrates and potassium. White Salad asparagus has an abundant amount of B vitamins, minerals, phosphorus, and calcium.
White Salad asparagus is petit and tender enough to be eaten raw and if cooked, should be done so over high and brief heat, whether grilled, sauteed or steamed. Little embellishment is needed to showcase its best qualities. Spring ingredients such as morel mushrooms, green garlic, wild ramps, fennel, leeks, young lettuces and citruses such as lemon and grapefruit are most suitable pairings. Other complimentary ingredients include olive oil, aged nutty cheeses such as pecorino and alpine cheeses, bacon, proscuitto, cream, eggs, butter, shallots, herbs such as thyme and basil, yeasty breads like sourdough and wheat and grains such as brown rice, quinoa and farro. White Salad asparagus will keep, dry and refrigerated, for up to a week.
Traditional varieties of asparagus are long term commitments for growers. It take two to three years of cultivation to yield an initial crop; the plants can potentially continue to produce up to fifteen to twenty years of harvests. Asparagus plants are prolific growers, creating ten inch spears within 24 hours under ideal growing conditions. You may witness asparagus "growing" once picked. This is because asparagus spears absorb moisture from the air which creates a swelling in size. White Salad asparagus is grown exclusively in Yakima Valley, Washington. The asparagus are grown hydroponically from seed and can be harvested within five to ten days. The individual spears are harvested pre-dawn before sunrise. This method is practiced to ensure the asparagus' snappy texture.
Recipes that include White Salad Asparagus. One is easiest, three is harder.