May 31, 2011

asparagus season


the season has started in earnest now, for the next few weeks, this white gold can be found in every supermarket, at every self-respecting grocery, and especially at the open markets.

white asparagus, grown under ground so the sunlight doesn t turn them green (and these are totally delicious as well) have their own special place in the world of gastronomy, probably because the season is very short; from about the second week of april until the end of june, so now they are at their best.

they are also very easy to prepare and versatile, but i like to keep it relatively simple. yesterday, i was still wondering what to make for dinner, when i passed a shelf in the supermarket with different sized asparagus waiting to be bought and prepared... one particularly nice bunch called out to me and then i knew what i was going to make: a classic 'asperges à la flamande' with an extra of brown shrimp.

i never boil asparagus, i just cut off the woody stalk at the bottom, peel and then steam them. with thin asparagus and often the green ones, it s easy to bend the bottom stalks and they will break where they need to in order to get rid of the woody part, which can be very tough, even when cooked.


(serves 2 as a main, 3 as a starter)

1 kg thick white asparagus, peeled and woody stalks cut off
70 gr butter
2 hard-boiled eggs, minced
handful parsley, finely chopped
300 gr brown shrimp, cooked and peeled
salt and pepper to taste


1. steam the asparagus (be gentle with them) until just soft but with a light bite left.
2. melt the butter, add the minced eggs and the parsley and season to taste.
3. serve the asparagus topped with the butter-egg-parsley sauce and divide the shrimp among the plates.

delicious with baked or roast potatoes.

oooh, now i think about it, i ll have to make an asparagus soup soon, and roasted green asparagus salad with mozarella maybe, or an asparagus soufflé... as i mentioned earlier, even though the season is short, they are now at their very best and the combinations are endless.

that s the truly fun part isn t it?


  1. oishisoooo!!! looking forward to your various asparagus recipes!! we love asparagus too!! I'll have to try making this for myself and Steve (kids are not too keen on shrimps).

  2. honey, you can leave out the shrimp yo. then it s classically Flemish. smoked salmon works well too.

  3. ohh didnt know that white asparagus hasnt been under the sun until now :) will trying steaming it instead of boiling them next time too! your shrimps are soo tiny and cute! think we only have large ones on this side of the world? haha.

  4. This sounds and looks great...! I usually buy green asparagus, is there any difference in taste with the white ones?

  5. in England they would call them brown shrimp, often used in 'potted shrimp' with the layer of mace-flavored butter on top?
    here in Belgium they re a real delicacy... when sold still in their shell, they make an excellent and fun (because they have to be peeled) accompaniment to beer, especially Rodenbach.
    as for the taste of the asparagus... hmm, the green ones are just 'greener'. sorry for not being quite so eloquent on the description, perhaps more 'iron-y' would be better? the white ones have a more creamy flavor i think. ;-)