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Asparagus is a tasty harbinger of spring and also a nutritious vegetable. The spring vegetables go well with many other vegetables and with different flavors. When you buy fresh asparagus, whether it's from the farmer's market or the grocery store, it's best to eat it right away. In the following, we will explain what types of asparagus there are and how to prepare them. We are particularly concerned with how to prepare green asparagus. Stay tuned…

Asparagus Varieties - Green, Purple and White

Asparagus comes in green, white and purple shades. While purple and white asparagus are sold seasonally at farmers' markets or speci alty stores, white asparagus is often only available preserved in cans or jars.

All three asparagus varieties are available in spring, but their differences go well beyond colour.

The differences between white and green asparagus include the texture, the taste, the right preparation and perhaps the biggest difference of all, the cultivation method.

How to prepare green asparagus?

What is the difference between the different types of asparagus?

Purple asparagus comes from certain varieties of asparagus, but the difference between white and green asparagus lies in the cultivation method. Simply put, white asparagus is grown underground. Farmers layer a thick mound of earth over the white asparagus or cover it with black plastic to ensure that not a single ray of sunlight hits the spears. This process is called etiolation. Therefore, white asparagus is not exposed to sunlight and does not produce chlorophyll. The green asparagus pierces the soil as it grows, soaking up the sun and producing chlorophyll, which makes the veg green.

There are some key differences between green and white asparagus

Flavour and nutritional values

Green asparagus has a slightly grassy taste, while white asparagus is mild and slightly bitter. Purple asparagus is something nuttier and sweeter because it has about 20 percent more sugar in its sticks. While the asparagus spears are purple on the outside, the inside hardly differs from the inside of a green asparagus.

Green asparagus is considered the most nutritious when comparing all varieties of asparagus. Green asparagus is particularly rich in potassium, calcium, vitamins B and C, folic acid and beta-carotene. It also contains the most dietary fiber.

Purple asparagus contains anthocyanins, which are antioxidants

Preparation and cooking

Both white and purple asparagus can be prepared in the same way as green asparagus - namely boiled, roasted, baked, fried and added raw in salads.

However, the spears of white asparagus are thicker and slightly more fibrous than those of green asparagus, so they should be peeled first. Note that the white stalks are meant to be fully cooked through before serving. But the thicker sticks are better for roasting and grilling. In Europe, white asparagus is typically boiled and then either drizzled with melted butter or dipped in hollandaise sauce.

Roasted, boiled or grilled - asparagus is he althy and tastes good

Preparing green asparagus made easy

If you plan to serve white and green asparagus in one dish, cook them separately unless the spears all look the same thickness. It would be great to serve all three colors of asparagus in one dish, but the purple variety also turns green when cooked. So if you want to see all three colors, peel the sticks and serve them raw in a salad.

Spring is bound to be here when you enjoy a bowl of fresh green salad

Preparing green asparagus - this is how it works

If your asparagus is young and the spears are slender, all you have to do before cooking is wash them well and trim the ends. Thicker and older asparagus can become tougher at the end of the spears. You can break these off and use them for soup. There is a natural breaking point when you bend the stems. A less wasteful method is to simply use a peeler to peel the asparagus ends a few inches deep to reveal the tender interior.

Rinse the asparagus and prepare for cooking

How to grill asparagus: Toss and season asparagus in olive oil, then transfer to a hot grill pan. Turn again and again until the sticks are tenderly grilled.

Asparagus tastes really good grilled or roasted

How to Roast Asparagus: Preheat oven to 190C/Fan 170C/Gas 5. Place the asparagus in a large baking sheet or baking dish and add some oil and spices. You can also add garlic cloves, herbs or spices. Fry for 10-15 minutes until the roasted asparagus are tender.

Asparagus can be cooked on the stovetop, in the oven or even on the grill

How to cook asparagus: Bring s alted water to a boil and add the asparagus spears. Blanch them for 1 minute, then drop them into icy water to finish cooking. Cook 3-4 minutes depending on thickness until fully cooked, then drain.

Season and garnish the green asparagus according to your own preferences

How to cook asparagus on the grill: Asparagus is also great for grilling in summer. Choose thicker poles as they can withstand higher heat. Brush with oil and seasonings and place directly on the grill. Cook for 2-3 minutes while turning. Alternatively, you can wrap the sticks in aluminum foil with the olive oil, garlic and cherry tomatoes and fry them over indirect heat for 5-7 minutes. The asparagus steams and cooks, merging with the flavors of the spices.

This is how you can easily and simply prepare green asparagus

Bon appetit!

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