Friday, April 6, 2012

French Fridays with Dorie - Asparagus with Bits of Bacon

The recipe chosen for todays FFwD group is wonderful.

I adore asparagus wether ist is white or green or violet. My favorite method of preparation is somewhat similar to this recipe but with a bit more of an Italian touch, like olive oil, basil, tomatoes etc. But todays asparagus dish looks far more elegant and is probably better suited to a more formal dinner. The taste of this dish is not overpowered by the onion and the bacon. The walnut oil is also a nice compliment to the dish. All in all this is a dish that is simple to prepare, can be presented in a nice and elegant way and has a taste that is just right for springtime.

The reason why I used white and not green asparagus is simple. White asparagus is the traditional type of asparagus grown in Germany and other parts of Europe. It is an early spring crop and harvest season lasts only for a few weeks.

Since German locally-grown asparagus has not hit the market around here, I bought Greek asparagus for this recipe.

The main difference to the green variety is that the white asparagus must be peeled. The outside of the asparagus is fibrous and woody. But using an asparagus peeler or a sharp paring knife makes an easy task of this job.

You start peeling the asparagus just below the head and keep it wrapped in damp kitchen towels until ready to use.

In order to grow white asparagus, the plants are not exposed to any sunlight whatsoever. The production of chlorophyll is prevented by mounding sand and compost (about 40 centimeters/16 inches) over the root stock.

That is called the "hilling method" and on the picture that I just took of my local asparagus farmer's field, you can see that the mounds of earth look like endless rows in a field, covered with black plastic sheets in order to attract some heat from the sun.

To see what the other Doristas are up to, please click here.


  1. Great info about white asparagus. Your serving plate is great. You made a royal dish!

  2. That's pretty interesting - I have never seen how the white asparagus is cultivated. And I am very intrigued by the thought of violet variety.
    Lovely job!
    Have a great weekend.

  3. Spargel! My family is of German decent (my grandmother is full-blood) and we love it when we can find white asparagus in the stores. When we're visiting Germany and it's on the menu, we always order it. Yours looks beautiful! Happy Easter!

  4. Until today I had no idea white asparagus even existed! Thanks for posting about how it's grown and everything - very interesting!

  5. Very interesting about white asparagus. Your plate looks so delicious and appetizing. Tricia and I both enjoyed this one,
    and will be making it again.

  6. Gorgeous!! and love the platter - so pretty!

  7. I'm jealous. I am itching to cook white asparagus! Lovely pics.

  8. What a cool and interesting post. I really enjoyed the info you shared and LOVED all your photos - great job !! Nana and I both enjoyed this one and my younger son declared it his favorite Dorie recipe yet. Not too shabby :)

  9. What a fitting platter for your lovely white asparagus. I was tempted to get some at Whole Foods when I saw it earlier this week, but then the green was delivered in the CSA box, so I went with that instead. No matter color asparagus is always good. Enjoyed your photos and your post. I hope you have a very Happy Easter!

  10. Thanks for sharing all the photos of the white asparagus and how it's grown. My mom lived in Germany for a while (near Heidelberg) and I remember her telling me about the white asparagus festivals in the spring. She said it was quite a treat. Your asparagus looks so royal on that dish. Nice job!

  11. Very informative! Loved reading this, and learning something new about white asparagus. PS, love the name of your site!