When I was shopping at Trader Joe’s over the weekend, I happened to come across these beautiful purple asparagus! I’ve never seen it before, or tried it, but considering my whole family loves asparagus, I put it in my cart.
If you notice the stalks are much fatter than regular asparagus, but at the store, it was noted that purple asparagus is a little sweeter and more tender than regular asparagus.
Since I wasn’t quite sure how to make it, I ended up just making it like the way I normally do. I bake it in the oven for about 10 minutes, drizzled with olive oil and cracked salt and pepper. Had I looked up earlier, I would have found out that in order to maintain the purple color, you have to add some type of acid, lemon juice, lime juice, vinegar, etc…
Even so, it turned out great. I liked it better than regular asparagus, because the flavor was a little mellower than regular asparagus.
Luckily, I didn’t make it all, and I found out great information from Asparagus.com.au. They described purple asparagus as follows:
Purple asparagus spears are between 10% and 15% wider at the base than green asparagus spears. To select the freshest spears, consumers should look for firm, crisp stalks and compact brightly coloured heads with no trace of softness. When purple asparagus spears are sliced, the cream coloured flesh provides an especially effective presentation for salads and stir-fries.
Prolonged cooking causes purple asparagus to turn a deep green colour. To retain the vibrant purple colour, it is best to cook purple asparagus just until tender crisp. Or serve it fresh in salads and salsas. Interestingly, adding ‘acidic’ dressings using lime or lemon juice, or white wine or apple cider vinegar helps intensify the beautiful crimson hue.
I’m sure there are a lot of farmers markets selling these right now too!
My friend Lois gives me recipes out of the paper when she sees something I might like. This is from the Chicago Tribune “Good Eating” section for Mustard French dressing which would be great drizzled over the purple asparagus!
Mustard French Dressing
2 TB. red or white wine vinegar
1/4-1/2 tsp salt (to taste)
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
1 1/2 TB. dijon mustard
Mix vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Let stand for a few minutes. Slowly stir or whisk in the oil. You can store this in a jar, just shake before serving.
Have you ever tried purple asparagus, if so, how do you prepare it??