When debating on what side to serve with our savory salmon with vanilla balsamic marinade, this lovely white asparagus caught our eye. Neither of us had tried it before, but I figured it couldn’t be that much different from regular ol’ green asparagus, which Zak and I both enjoy. I was mostly correct – the main difference is that white asparagus needs to be peeled, lest the outer skin become bitter and tough. The taste is similar, though slightly sweeter and less “grassy” than traditional green asparagus. This makes it a bit more delicate, which lends itself to a side for fish. Furthermore, I thought it would go nicely with our “vanilla” theme of the evening.
The simple flavors of this side went really well with the salmon, particularly since both featured parsley. It would go equally well with most any fish and chicken.
Butter and Parsley Sautéed White Asparagus
1 lb. white asparagus, ends trimmed and peeled (yes, you really have to peel it)
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 tbs. olive oil
1 tbs. butter
Juice of 1 lemon
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Bring a medium pot of water to a rolling boil. Add asparagus and cover. Cook 3-4 minutes until you can pierce it with a fork but it is still al dente.
Heat butter and olive oil over medium heat in a pan large enough to hold the asparagus in a single layer until butter is melted and just begins to froth. Add asparagus. Season with salt and pepper. Once heated through and tender, add parsley and toss. Place on a serving platter and toss with lemon juice.