Want to learn how to cook spargel? Then get this spargel recipe and use our insider tips to understand how to cook white asparagus! We’ll tell you how to buy it, peel it, cook it, and serve it up in this delicious recipe! You will want to try this recipe out with your brunch friend
Every year, here in Germany, they go wild about spargel. What is spargel? White gold…er, um, I mean white asparagus. Pulled from a protective row of soil, never having seen the light of day, this delectable veggie comes out a pretty cream color.
We love it, and we think you will too, so we’re going to tell you how to buy it, prepare it, peel it, cook it, and put it into one of our most fantastic white spargel recipes.
Because white asparagus will be forever on your menu, that’s for sure. If you are visiting in spring, it’s one of the most important dishes to eat in Germany.
In this spargel recipe, you will learn:
- What is Spargel
- How is Spargel Grown
- Where to Buy Spargel
- How to Peel Spargel
- White Asparagus Recipes and Dishes
- Our Brunch Spargel Toast Recipe
What is Spargel?
Spargel, or white asparagus, is a little different than its green counterpart, and the Germans are big fans and know exactly how to cook spargel.
Because you know how the green asparagus can have an almost bitter flavor sometimes? You never get that with the white. It’s a milder, more subtle taste, and people of all ages just love it, which is why white spargel recipes are extremely popular in Germany.
How is Spargel Grown?
Instead of growing it above ground, it is grown in large rows, with soil heaped over the plants, then covered with a black plastic. It is usually harvested from mid-April to mid-June, but some years it comes in later, depending on how bad the winter was.
As the season begins, you will see all the restaurants jumping on the spargel wagon, creating entire menus based around this much sought-after veg.
The two most traditional ways of serving it is either boiled and served alongside boiled potatoes and ham, sometimes with the Hollandaise sauce, or in Spargel cremesuppe (white asparagus soup), which is by far Jim’s favorite.
Nowadays, however, the chefs are trying to come up with new white spargel recipes and wrangle your business to their restaurant. The spargel menu usually will have a number of meats or salmon served with the potatoes and white asparagus for a few options. Then they often will have one really new dish to entice you.
At one place I had a spargel toast with a chicken breast, ham, cheese, and mustard and cream sauce to top it off. I haven’t been able to find it since…unfortunately.
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Where You Can Buy White Asparagus?
During springtime in Germany as well as many European countries, white asparagus can be bought in any grocery store or local market during the season. However, the very best place to buy them is right at the field where it’s grown.
The farmer or coop will set up a stand and they will sell it right then and there. Most stands will even peel it for you, because it should be done just the right way.
That’s why we never buy ours peeled because we may or may not get side-tracked and not make it that night. If you peel it, you need to use it right away and cook our delicious spargel recipe below.
In the U.S. fresh white asparagus is a bit harder to find, but it’s becoming more and more popular. Most Whole Foods, or other specialty and gourmet grocers will stock white asparagus. When you look at the price tag, you’ll see why I call it “white gold.”
It’s expensive, but as we’ve mentioned, once you’ve had it, it’s easy to get addicted to this luxury vegetable. You can buy a canned version pretty much all year long. We do use that, especially as a pizza topping, but of course you are better off using fresh if you can find it.
How to Cook White Asparagus (How to Prepare Spargel)
How to Peel Spargel (White Asparagus)
White asparagus has a tougher structure than the green variety. Therefore, you when learning how to cook white asparagus, you must first peel off the outside layer or it just tastes like bark.
- Wash the white asparagus
- Cut off the very bottom of the stalk, at least 3/4 of an inch. Make sure to leave the top intact. (It’s the best part!)
- Take a vegetable peeler, and trim the outer skin.
If you buy spargel at a market stall, many times the vendor will offer to peel it for you. This is a good idea if you plan on cooking it right away, but if you are like us, and it’s going to stay in the fridge until you get a chance to prepare your favorite spargel recipe, you will want to peel it yourself just before you are ready to cook.
Power Tip: If you are making a soup stock, the peelings from the spargel will add a nice taste. Just remember to drain it when finished. You won’t want to eat the outer stalk. It’s just too hard to chew.
White Spargel Recipes
White asparagus is very hardy. It has to be to thrive under a foot of soil, so it’s imperative to boil it for at least 7-10 minutes (my preference is about 15 minutes) before including it in any white asparagus recipe.
If you just want to butter it and serve it as a side dish, then you are finished. However, many of my white spargel recipes call for it to do more. Once it has been softened, it’s cooked, but you can grill it or bake it a little more if you need to.
How to Cook Spargel – White Asaparagus Recipes and Dishes
We’ve had white asparagus in so many different ways, from soups to sandwiches, casseroles, and more. It really is versatile. The real trick is not to overpower the subtle taste of it, especially with Spargel toast.
Use Our Brunch Spargel Toast Recipe and Learn How to Cook Spargel
We love a toasted sandwich with a creamy, poached egg on top, so we created this recipe to celebrate during spargel season.
A spring staple in Germany, most restaurants will have a spargel menu. This is our favorite brunch sandwich, because what could be a better way to start your weekend than having farm fresh spargel?
- 4 stalks spargel
- 2 slices ham
- 2 slices Swiss cheese
- One bagel or hard roll
- 1-2 eggs, optional
- Hollandaise Sauce, to taste
- 1/2 cup green onions, chopped
- Wash and peel spargel (see how above)
- Boil spargel until soft. (5-8 minutes)
- Toast bagel or roll.
- Add ham and cheese. Broil until cheese is melted (about 3 minutes).
- Add eggs, cooked as you desire. I think poached works best, but many people fry or scramble their eggs.
- Cover with Hollandaise Sauce and green onions, to taste.
- Serve immediately.
This can easily be converted to a vegetarian sandwich by either leaving off the ham or substituting another ingredient in its place.
Also, depending on the person the calorie count could be much lower if they reduce the items chosen on the sandwich.
If serving for brunch, it's best to have each guest build their own sandwich, then order the eggs the way they want them cooked while the sandwich is in the broiler.
I hope you enjoyed this spargel recipe and now know exactly how to cook spargel at home. Just use our amazing, brunch spargel toast recipe and you’ll serve up an incredible brunch to remember in no time. This way, you can quickly and easily bring a little bit of Germany into your very own kitchen.
Author Bio: Corinne Vail is a travel photographer, food lover, and a perpetual traveler who has been travel writing for over 14 years. For many years she lived overseas in Germany, Japan, Turkey, South Korea, and the Netherlands teaching the children of the US. military. She’s visited over 90 countries, and she’s not stopping anytime soon.
Don’t forget to pin our spargel recipe for later.