WHITE ASPARAGUS VINAIGRETTE (for four)
1 pound white asparagus
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon shallot, minced
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon salt
a grinding or two of black pepper
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
minced parsley or chives for garnish
1. Trim the asparagus and peel each stalk (white asparagus has a tougher skin than the green variety, so peeling is really necessary here — start just below the tip and peel all the way down). Place the asparagus in a skillet that’s large enough to hold all the stalks in a single layer. Cover with salted water and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently for 8 to 12 minutes for asparagus spears 1 inch or less in diameter (more, up to 20 minutes, if the asparagus spears are really thick), until the asparagus is tender when pierced with a knife. In a colander, refresh them under cold water and let them drain. Pat the asparagus dry with paper towels.
2. Meanwhile, mix the garlic, shallots and vinegar together in a small bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes, then whisk in the remaining ingredients.
3. To serve, arrange asparagus on a platter. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and sprinkle with the parsley or chives.