A few months short of asparagus season, these purple spears appeared in the market. Higher in sugar content than their green and white relatives, purple asparagus integrate the flavors of artichoke, barley and almonds. The purple hue comes from the high levels of anthocyanins – potent antioxidant flavonoids that are said to have anti-inflammatory and cancer-preventing properties.
14 asparagus spears
pinch sea salt
Process Cut the tough ends (about 1-2 inches) off each spear. Use a paring knife to peel the tough purple outer layer off of each asparagus spear.
Wash them by immersing them in a bowl of water.
Fill a large stainless steel skillet about three-quarters full of water. Add a pinch of salt and heat on a medium to high flame. When water is boiling add the asparagus.
Blanch them for about one minute or less: when stems turn a more intense shade of green, they are done. Remove them with a wire mesh skimmer and arrange on individual plates. Slice the mandarinquat in half lengthwise.
Halve each half to make quarters.
Arrange one or two sections on top of the asparagus as garnish and serve.
©Nancy Wolfson-Moche 2014