Stalking the Elusive White Asparagus

Once a year people go nuts for this veggie

Rules and regulations continue even after the asparagus bundles are cooked. The stalks are removed from the cooking liquid and placed in the freezer. The liquid itself is chilled separately. Once both are cool, the asparagus are placed back in the stock and refrigerated. The "bath" will block the asparagus from picking up any undesired flavors from other comestibles in the fridge.

Now what to do with all this asparagus? Make a meal, of course. From May 5 through 10, Holz and Loughhead will be offering prix-fixe asparagus menus for $48 per person (Eiswein and Riesling pairings will be additional), as well as an interactive white-asparagus cooking class on May 23rd. But don't think the meal itself will be vegetarian. Appetizers such as terrine of green-and-white asparagus will be garnished with house-smoked salmon, and entrées will include grilled Black Forest ham served with poached white asparagus and fingerling potatoes in Hollandaise, or truffle-breaded sweetbreads ragout in a chive crêpe on asparagus with morels. And don't worry -- desserts such as sautéed sweet-potato dumplings stuffed with plums in cinnamon bread crumbs will not have a hidden asparagus component. About sweets made with this distinctively flavored member of the lily family, Holz says, "I might do it in Germany, but here people would complain. It's just too crazy."

Peeling white asparagus in the lobby of a Ritz-Carlton while wearing your dad's twenty-year-old lederhosen, however, makes perfect sense.

Once a year people go nuts for this veggie
Jeremy Eaton
Once a year people go nuts for this veggie

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