6.06.2007

Thick, White, Asparagus

In the last couple of weeks, the supermarkets in Graz, have been inundated with thumb-thick white asparagus. It seems that here, thicker is better which goes contrary to the advice of getting the thinnest, most pettite asparagus for a refined meal.

How to turn these thick, white monsters into a delicacy?

I was hunting around my spice coupard and found an unused jar of mustard. Mind you, this was not the yellow creamy stuff to spray on hotdogs. This was a little jar hubby brought back for me on his last trip to France. It's far from yellow, it's a little jar packed with whole-grained mustard which is suspended in a little bath of white wine and vinegar. It's called Moutarde a' l'Ancienne made by Reine Dijon and it's really changed my view of mustard for the better. If you don't have a hubby that occasionally travels to France on business, I'm sure any whole-grained mustard will work with this recipe.
White Asparagus al Moutarde
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketWhole grained mustard can be quite flavorful, so if you like a strong flavor, use restraint and start with a just a little bit (you can always add more later!) because you also do not want to overpower the asparagus flavor.

500g (or 1lb) of White Asparagus
1 tbsp of olive oil
1 tspo of Whole Grain Mustard in White Wine and Vinegar
1 tsp of salt
pepper to taste

Rinse the asparagus and snap the stems (grab each end and let it snap naturally) put the bottoms aside to use as a base for broth, or something. If the asparagus is very thick (like a thumb) slice diagonally lengthwise leaving the tip intact on one of the diagonals. If the asparagus is very thin (like a pinky or less) leave whole.

In a skillet, add the tablespoon of olive oil an heat. When the oil makes a little sizzle when you put in a drop of water, tumble the asparagus in the skillet. Sprinkle with salt, grind a little pepper and sautee' for a few minutes. Add the teaspoon of mustard, mix and continue to cook until the asparagus have a nice golden tint and are soft to the fork.

Bon Apetit!

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