White Asparagus: A Prized Spring Delicacy

8 MAY 2024

White asparagus, often referred to as the ‘royal vegetable’, has long held its reputation as the ultimate spring delicacy. Unlike its green counterpart, white asparagus grows entirely shielded from sunlight. It tastes notably milder and subtler than green asparagus: nuanced, slightly nutty, with a more tender texture, making it highly coveted by chefs and food enthusiasts alike. In culinary circles, especially in Europe, white asparagus is celebrated during its short season from April to June. Its arrival heralds the onset of spring menus, featuring dishes that range from simple, buttered spears to complex creations adorned with hollandaise sauce.

The highly prized white asparagus graces spring menus around the world.

Its’ labour-intensive cultivation means it can cost three times as much as green asparagus. The process involves mounding soil around the growing stalks or covering them with dark plastic tunnels or boxes to ensure that the spears remain unexposed to light. Any breach in this process can lead to photosynthesis, which not only changes the colour but also alters the flavour profile of the vegetable. White asparagus also needs to be grown in loose, sandy soil which can be hard to find and requires significant alteration and preparation.


Despite its challenges, or perhaps because of them, white asparagus continues to hold its place as a gourmet vegetable. Its cultivation, while demanding, is a clear reflection of the dedication that farmers put into their craft—ensuring that each spear, as much a product of art as of agriculture, delivers the utmost in dining pleasure.


When in season, you'll find these white asparagus spears at Culina Market at COMO Dempsey in Singapore. They are air-flown directly from Sebastien Coudray's farm, Ferme les Malauques, in Mazan, France. Coudray is an experienced farmer dedicated to growing white asparagus using sustainable methods that work well with this delicate crop.


This is a recipe for white asparagus from our upcoming cookbook, COMO Simple — a sneak peek into a classic dish finessed by our chefs at COMO Le Montrachet in Burgundy. The aigrelette sauce makes for a perfect pairing with a glass of local Puligny-Montrachet.

Enjoy this recipe excerpt from COMO Shambhala Kitchen's upcoming cookbook, COMO Simple.

White Asparagus with Aigrelette Sauce

Serves 4 to 6



  • 800g/1lb 12oz asparagus, trimmed and peeled at the bottom of the spears

Aigrelette Sauce:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 80ml/⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 125ml/½ cup grapeseed oil
  • 2 tbsp white wine, preferably Chardonnay
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar, preferably Chardonnay
  • 2 tbsp chicken stock
  • 30g/1oz assorted fresh herbs (tarragon, thyme, chives, dill etc.), minced
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Whisk the egg yolk, mustard, and lemon juice in a bowl.
  2. In a thin, gradual stream, whisk in both oils to form a thick emulsion.
  3. Next, whisk in the white wine, white wine vinegar, and stock until smooth.
  4. Season with the herbs and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Refrigerate the sauce if not using within the hour. Bring back to room temperature before using.
  5. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil.
  6. Tie bunches of similar-length asparagus spears in bundles, then boil each for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the asparagus is tender.
  7. Drain well and serve immediately with enough aigrelette sauce to lightly coat the spears.

You can find more healthy recipes like this in Simple, launching soon. You can also find COMO Shambhala Kitchen recipes in the first cookbook, The Pleasures of Eating Well, available at Culina Market at COMO Dempsey, where you can earn Comocredits for every dollar spent.


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