White Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce Recipe
This dish brings me back to my Vienna days: white asparagus and potatoes with hollandaise sauce. The appearance of asparagus in the markets of Vienna--as elsewhere--is a harbinger of Spring. Austrians (and Germans) have a thing for white asparagus. They prefer it to the green kind that is more familiar in most other places. In fact, ask for Spargel and they will assume you mean white asparagus, you should say Gruener Spargel, or "green asparagus" if you want the kind we're most familiar with. White asparagus are grown by keeping dirt mounded around the emerging stalk, depriving it of light. The plant cannot produce chlorophyll without light, thus there is no green color to the stalks. The flavor is more delicate, and the flesh more tender, than regular asparagus. (The same light deprivation technique is used to keep Belgian endive white as well.) Anyway, this is another dish of utter simplicity to make, but quite beautiful to behold.
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35 mins (prep 15, cooking 20)