From the market to your plate
From the market to your plate

All about Asparagus > From the market to your plate

Preparation and cooking methods for asparagus vary, depending on whether it is white or green, young or mature.


The head should be compact and not in flower, and the stem firm and tender. Check the cut end: if it is dry, brown or blackened, the asparagus was not cut recently. Like its later siblings, green asparagus is a fragile vegetable. Be careful when transporting it and avoid sudden shocks. Never choose overly large spears, even with white asparagus. To check for freshness, break off a little piece of the stem. The break should be clean and a clear liquid should appear right away to cover the wound.

For this top-end product, the presentation must be impeccable. Standards for green asparagus:

  • length: 20 to 27 cm (8 to 10")
  • diameter: 12 to 16 mm (1/2 to 2/3") / 16 to 22 mm (2/3 to 14/16") / or 22 mm and greater (14/16") for extra large

Wrap in a damp kitchen towel and place in the vegetable crisper of the refrigerator. If you wish to freeze asparagus, blanch for 3-4 minutes in boiling water; drain and let cool before putting into bags.


Thin asparagus
Thin young asparagus requires little preparation. It is often very tender and does not need to be peeled… or even cooked.

Large asparagus
Large asparagus needs to be peeled. Since the stems are very fragile, it is best to work on a flat surface and to peel the asparagus working from the head downwards to the bottom of the stem. First cut several centimetres from the base of the spear since this lower section remains hard and fibrous even after long cooking.

Peeling technique


Green asparagus has a more intense smell than white, and its flavour is stronger and slightly sweet. The taste of white asparagus is more refined with nutty overtones. Each kind of asparagus has its own particular culinary applications. The advantage of green asparagus is that it can be boiled as well as grilled, allowing its flavour and aroma to be preserved and its vitamin and mineral content retained, while presenting more options on the gastronomic level. It can be eaten either hot or cold, used as an ingredient in salads or as an accompaniment to meat or fish. It can also be included on vegetable platters, served alone or used as a main ingredient in more elaborate recipes.

Cooking asparagus with Christian Willer, la Palme d'Or, Cannes


Asparagus love to be paired with vinaigrette, crème fraîche, eggs, cheese...

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