White Asparagus with Blood Oranges,Hazelnuts and white Balsamic vinaigrette
The fabulous white asparagus is only in season for a very short time in the spring and when it’s available it is a regular guest in my kitchen. The gorgeous whitish stalks remain light because they grow buried in a mound of soil where no sunlight can reach them and make them green. The white asparagus is a bit tougher than the green. Snap or cut the stalk where it is vulnerable and breaks, then peel the bottom 1/3 of the stalk with a vegetable peeler. The white asparagus is very fragile and it’s best to lay it on its side on a cutting board and run the vegetable peeler blade over it horizontally, otherwise it is likely to snap in you hand. Why waste a beautiful stalk? I serve the white asparagus in many different ways, some of which I will share in this blog. I invite you to read my asparagus article in the spring section of What’s in Season above (click here) for more information about this beautiful vegetable. For the mango pulp I either puree some mango in a food processor or use a prepared mango pul that I purchase. See image below the recipe.
1 bunch white asparagus
2 blood oranges, peeled and sections removed
1 cup hazelnuts, chopped
White Balsamic vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons mango pulp (puréed mango flesh or purchased product)
Cut the bottom tough part of the asparagus or snap it where it naturally breaks. Peel the bottom 1/3 of each stalk with a vegetable peeler. Bring a pot of water to a boil, drop asparagus into the boiling water and cook a few minutes until the asparagus is crisp tender. Remove and drop into ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside.
Peel the blood oranges and cut out the segment between the skin so you have nice, red orange segments without skin or pith. Set aside.
Combine all the dressing ingredients, whisking to emulsify and set aside.
To assemble the dish pile a few stalks per serving on each plate. scatter orange segment and mango slices around the asparagus. Drizzle with vinaigrette and sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts.
Garnish with a few micro greens or baby arugula and serve at room temperature.
Mango essence vinegar and White balsamic vinegar