This is a simple and slightly quirky way to enjoy your asparagus. White asparagus is superior, here in Berlin, to its green brothers and can take a little more time to prepare as the stalks are very woody. Take the time to trim them so you do not end up with a tough spear but the clean, silky texture of this much beloved vegetable.
I have teamed them with this vibrant and garlicky Turkish dip which works perfectly as a side dish or starter.
2 medium beetroots
2 cloves of garlic
juice of half a lemon
500g white asparagus, trimmed
black sesame seeds to garnish (optional)
First heat the oven to 180C and rub your beetroot with a little olive oil and salt and roast until soft and easily pierced with a knife. This should be about an hour or so. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Once they are cool enough to handle, peel off the tough skins and discard. Roughly chop the beetroot and set aside.
Fill a saucepan with water, put on to boil and steam your asparagus until tender.
While they are steaming pop the beetroot, garlic, lemon juice and cumin into a blender and blitz. While the motor is running pour in about 2 tbsp of olive oil. Next spoon in roughly 3 tbsp of soy yogurt, salt and pepper and blitz until everything is well blended and you have a gloriously vibrant magenta.
Taste for seasoning, perhaps you need more salt, cumin or lemon and adjust accordingly.
Once the asparagus is cooked, serve drizzled generously with the Turkish sauce and the black sesame to garnish.