It’s season again, for those premature spring veggies! Those are one of a kind, I knew they existed but never had the opportunity to try them out, “well done” until I’ve met my in-laws. I’ve encountered my first white asparagus at my husband’s mom place, I remembered eating them once before but they were though and not tender at all. The mom although… she nailed it, I was baptised all over again, a new beginning for me, those delicate white asparagus were suddenly on my top 10 favorite veggies list. She made them simply with cooked ham, and little butter and it was fantastic! In Germany they have what they call the “Spargelzeit”, a period from april to early june I think… They have all those stands selling those white jewels on the streets, a bit like apple time back in North America.
Also, I got the first seat while doing a bike tour through northern Italy a few years ago, in april. I got the chance to see them getting “picked-up” from the little mountains of soil where the tip of their head would just freshly come out. The guys on the field would rapidly pick them up from the soil with some technical skills I couldn’t describe with words here. A bit like going threw the soil with a sword…
Yesterday, I saw in the Spanish market, those white asparagus, grown in Spain- lucky me- and couldn’t resist… Also, I had to finish my leftovers of buckwheat crepe, so I did a little experiment with the white asparagus, I add them to a crepe with baby spinach and a bechamel sauce instead of a hollandaise sauce because it’s healthier and easier to do. The white asparagus have a pretty delicate flavour which can get overrunned by bolder ingredients so I didn’t add spices.
So let’s do that white asparagus crepe!
White asparagus crepe
Makes 4 portions
You’ll need a non stick crepe pan for this
- 300g buckwheat flour
- 500ml of water
- 1 egg
- 20 thick and fresh white asparagus
- few slices of cooked ham
- few baby spinach leaves
- 1 tsp butter
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
you will need an extra, small saucepan for this
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1 cup (500ml) cold milk
- salt, pepper
- Mix the salt into the flour
- Add the egg in the center
- Add water in the center slowly in a well and whisk from the center to the sides (to keep it smooth)
- Once all mixed, pass through a sieve to eliminate the unwanted lumps
- Let set in the fridge for 1-2 hours
- Rinse the asparagus, then peel them from the top to the bottom, 2 to 3 times (because the outside fiber is pretty thin) than cut the end tip
- Add water to a large pan, just large enough and deep enough to add all of them in. Bring to simmer.
- Add a butter, salt and sugar
- Add the asparagus
- Cook about 15 minutes, until tender, simmering
- Add the butter to a saucepan to melt at medium-high heat
- Add flour when melted, cook about 1 minute until it smells nutty
- Add the cold milk, nutmeg, salt and pepper and whisk it until it thickens, add milk if too thick.
The grand final
- Bring your nonstick pan to high and add a little fat of your choice with a paper, really little
- Mix your base again, add a little base to the pan in order to test your crepes, not too much (because the first one is always just a test)
- When adding the mix, make sure it barely cover the surface, and it’s not too thick (you’ll see the holes forming right away if good consistency, always can add water if too thick).
- Add the baby spinach and white asparagus mix to the crepe with as much of bechamel you want, while it cooks
- Cook the crepe until light brown, fold it up, transfer to a plate
Enjoy with a nice Riesling or why not a Weiss beer!