In Season: Purple Asparagus

tumblr_l1gpzh1qcg1qap52bWho says it’s not easy being green? Apparently some asparagus does, because on your next trip to the farmers market, you may run into a variety of asparagus that I presume is on Prince’s plate at Paisley Park every night.

I was visiting my friend Thalia in Woodstock this past weekend and she prepared a lovely meal of local flank steak, baked potatoes, and something that really rocked my world: purple asparagus. It was so sweet and delicious that the next morning, I asked her to take me to Woodstock Meats where they had just gotten a delivery of the local stuff.

It’s much sweeter than its green cousin due to a higher sugar content, and cancer fighting phytochemicals give it its purple hue. In fact, purple asparagus is so much more tender, you can eat it raw!

I decided to roast mine at 400 degrees with olive oil, salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon for about 8 minutes. What did I learn from this? The heat causes the asparagus to turn a dark green. If you’re interested in keeping it bright purple, slice it into a salad or blanch very quickly. Even when it loses it’s raw-state purple color, it’s still deliciously tender and wonderfully sweet. So if you’re ever at the market and see these peculiar perennials, remember to Go Purple!