Baden Style White Asparagus (Spargel)

The town of Schwetzingen in Southwest Germany is considered Germany’s “Spargel Capital”. Certain regions of Germany have very sandy soils that are particularly suited to growing white asparagus. Every spring, Spargel season is as eagerly awaited by food lovers as a new crop of sweet, juicy strawberries. Many restaurants (“Spargelhof”) open up in these asparagus growing regions serving spargel menus, organizing “Spargel Routes” and week long festivals take place with music, Spargel Queens, and other entertainment.

Spargel – White Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce

If you just want to skip to the chase, there are really good white asparagus spears sold in cans and jars. There are also hollandaise sauce mixes that are quite good. If you can find fresh spears in the spring, go for it. Because they're grown underground, they stay white and sweet as there's no strong tastes like green asparagus. They're often served with hollandaise sauce, Westphalian ham slices, and boiled potatoes.
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Course: Appetizer, Lunch, Sauce, Side Dish
Cuisine: German
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4
Author: My Hungry Traveler

Equipment

  • Blender or mini-food processor

Ingredients

  • 16 spears White asparagus, jared, canned, or fresh
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Sugar
  • 2 large Egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp Warm water
  • ½ cup Good butter, salted
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp Salt and cayenne pepper
  • 8 Slices Ham, Westphalian or French Bayonne, sliced thin

Instructions

  • Microwave canned or jarred white asparagus spears in a large plastic freezer bag with ¼ cup water, salt, and sugar. Partially seal and cook in a microwave for 2-3 minutes to steam lightly. Drain.
    Follow package instructions to make Hollandaise sauce or make from scratch.
    Place 4 spears on a serving plate, knapp with hollandaise, and place 2 rolled ham slices next to asparagus.

Hollandaise Sauce From Scratch

  • Add egg yolks, water, and lemon juice to the bowl of a blender. Blend for 30 seconds until frothy. Melt butter in microwave or small saucepan.
    With blender running, carefully and very slowly drizzle butter into blender until sauce is thickened. Season with salt and cayenne pepper.

Notes

  • If the universe aligns and fresh white asparagus are available, peel the stems with a vegetable peeler and microwave 7 minutes longer in the ziplock bag.
  • German will often serve this before wienerschnitzel as a main meal. Double the Hollandaise recipe and place half across the schnitzels.

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