If vegetables could speak, asparagus would surely say “spring.” While it’s available all year, nothing compares to the fresh spears that appear each spring. Asparagus is one of the first crops of the season, and after a long winter, when green produce is sparse, seeing the tips peek out of the soil is a welcome sight. A short shelf life means it’s best to seek out local asparagus. Look for glossy spears, tightly closed tips, and freshly cut ends.
While green is the most common asparagus, you can often find purple and white spears in stores.
Purple asparagus is grown the same way as green and is also green on the inside. These spears usually taste a bit sweeter and nuttier and are tasty raw.
White asparagus is grown without sunlight, so it doesn’t produce chlorophyll, which keeps it colorless, or white. The stalks should be peeled before cooking. It’s milder in flavor and less grassy than green and best served blanched.
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