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Recipe for :

White Asparagus with Parmesan

This recipes comes from Dancer and Graphic artist Martin James. Martin, who originally comes from New Zealand, is now living with his wife and children in Copenhagen as he is currently principal Dancer with The Royal Danish Ballet. You will be able to find out more about Martin when his Biography page is published.

Being so gifted it seems unfair that Martin should also be talented in the kitchen as well but he has agreed to share some of his recipes with us which is great news.


8 - 10 white asparagus spears (medium thickness)
Parmesan cheese, grated
Heavy cream or table cream
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

  • Peel white asparagus and remove the more fibrous butt ends. In a ten inch frying pan, add about one inch of boiling water or enough to cover the peelings and ends as well as the 8 to 10 spears of white asparagus. Bring back to boil and simmer covered until the spears are tender. This will take at least twice as long as for green asparagus, perhaps more than fifteen minutes.
  • Remove white asparagus spears, pat dry, and keep warm in dish in oven. Now reduce liquid in pan. You may leave peelings and ends in water until the liquid becomes insufficient to protect them from burning. Strain liquid. If quantity more that 1/2 cup, return to pan and reduce to between 1/4 and 1/2 cup. The more concentrated the liquid, the more intense the flavour of your sauce will be.
  • Now add an equal quantity of cream to the liquid. We use table or coffee cream with about 1/2 tsp. of cornstarch (mix cornstarch first with cream before adding to liquid). Do NOT let the mixture boil. Heat until slightly thickened.
  • Now spoon sauce over the warm white asparagus spears. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and then place under the broiler until golden. Watch carefully to avoid burning.


White asparagus is often served with sauces that enhance the flavor, or cooked, chilled and served with mayonnaise, especially one made with balsamic vinegar.

Serves 2

Martin James