Green or white, asparagus are fine vegetables symbolizing spring.

In this high season, the culinary chronicler of Europe 1 Olivier Poels has chosen to tell you the story of this vegetable in the program "Historically Vôtre".

He also gives you the recipe for asparagus with maltese sauce.   

Now is the time to enjoy asparagus, which has a fairly short season, from mid-March to June.

This vegetable is a staple of the table: it has been eaten for a very long time, but not always in the same form as today.

The culinary chronicler of Europe 1 Olivier Poels goes back to the origins of asparagus and gives you the recipe for the best sauce to accompany them.

Where do asparagus come from?

During Antiquity, the Greeks, Romans and Egyptians gathered and ate wild asparagus around the Mediterranean basin.

It is possible but rare to still find a little of this variety today.

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The real moment when asparagus became very popular in France was the Renaissance.

She invites herself to the Kings table.

Louis XIV was an amateur and he was the first to ask for them to be cultivated.

He will ask his gardener Jean-Baptiste de La Quintinie to plant asparagus in Versailles.

But this culture will take time to really develop.

It is only from the 19th century, thanks to Dutch plants, that we will truly have asparagus as we know it: large regular asparagus, green or white.

What is the difference between green and white asparagus?

They don't have quite the same taste: the green has a little more vegetal side, the white a little rounder.

And they come from two techniques from different cultures.

The white asparagus is planted and bumps up: we bring earth on it as we go to prevent it from coming into contact with the light.

If it is, it makes chlorophyll and turns green.

White asparagus was discovered by chance.

We wanted to protect these vegetables from various diseases and small aphids.

To prevent it from being attacked, it was covered with earth.

Two cooking tips

If you have green asparagus, there is no need to peel it.

There is also no need for a large volume of water to cook them.

Roast them gently with olive oil and a little bit of water.

For the white asparagus, when you cook them in water, put them in a bundle in a large volume.

And when you see that they start to go down to the bottom of the pan, they are done.

As for the sauce, there is nothing better than maltese sauce: a kind of mousseline sauce in which we add a dash of orange juice.

Here is the recipe for asparagus with maltese sauce.

The recipe for asparagus with maltese sauce

The ingredients for 4 people

  • 1.5 kg of white asparagus

  • 2 egg yolks

  • 40 gr of butter

  • 1 orange juice

  • salt pepper

The steps of the recipe 

1. Peel the asparagus and tie them into two beautiful bundles

2. Boil a large volume of salted water

3. Dip the asparagus

4. When they start to flow, they are cooked.

5. Gently heat the egg yolks, add the butter and whisk to obtain a muslin texture.

6. Add orange juice

7. Correct

8. You can also add a few strips of zest and chopped ginger.