Sweeter, thicker and more tender than it's green cousin, purple asparagus also has an interesting fruity flavour and a naturally higher sugar content.
This is a different variety to green or white asparagus and it comes from a region around the city of Albenga in northern Italy.
The colour is a definite plus when combined with natural partners such as jamon, ham, smoked salmon or an omelette.
It is best just-cooked for no more than a minute to retain its violet hue as prolonged cooking can transform it into a deep bronze-green. I steamed it in the microwave with a sprinkle of water or you could toss it into a stir-fry at the very last minute.
Also, the less fibrous spears don't really need much trimming at the base, if at all. Interestingly, the inside side of the spears is actually a vibrant green, another great contrast.
Acid dressings using lime or lemon juice or vinegar help intensify the purple. The colour comes from the high levels of anthocyanins or powerful cancer-fighting antioxidants in the spears.
Purple asparagus is best eaten within four days of purchase and is available from mid-October to mid-December.
Purple Asparagus wrapped in yellow corn tortilla with avocado and tuna flakes.
I made these for the family last night and served them with a big salad. It was popular.
Unfortunately, my avocado wasn't ripe, so I had to do a last minute substitution with good quality mayo but it still worked.
Prep Time: 10 minutes.
Cooking Time: 6 minutes.
- 12 asparagus spears, ends trimmed
- 1 large avocado, mashed
- 12 yellow corn tortillas
- 400g good quality tuna in oil, well drained
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Blanch asparagus spears in boiling water for 1 minute. Drain and cool in ice water. Drain again and set aside.
- Wrap tortillas in foil and place in 160°C oven for 5 minutes to soften. Trim to 5cm by 12 cm.
- Season avocado with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- Place tortilla on bench, spread with avocado and sprinkle with tuna flakes.
- Place asparagus on the edge of tortilla and roll tightly. Secure with a wooden skewer.