Joan Nova travels to Peru, and comes back with a batch of produce of a certain color.
By Joan Nova
The title Purple Produce from Peru makes me giddy with reminiscences of childhood refrains like “Peter picked a peck of pickled peppers” or “Purple People Eater”. But my adult gourmand brain is tickled by the visuals and the possibilities. Don’t you just love when you spot something beautiful and different in the market? That’s how I felt when I saw these purple asparagus from Peru. I had to try them. And what better accompaniment than purple potatoes?
On to the experiment. I decided to roast the asparagus in the oven with a little olive oil and s+p and then double-duty both vegetables to make a soup and omelette. I also roasted a head of garlic separately (see recipes below).
Tortilla de Patatas y Esparragos Morados
Done in the Spanish manner, the potatoes were thinly sliced and fried in olive oil. They were then removed and folded into eggs that had been beaten with s+p, a dash of hot sauce, and a smashed clove of roasted garlic; the mixture was then slipped into the fry pan with the tips of the roasted asparagus. Once set, the omelette was inverted onto a plate and returned to the pan to finish cooking. I finished the dish with a fresh grating of parmesan cheese and black pepper.
As you can see, the asparagus lost its purpleness and the green interior became dominant especially in the soup.
Garlicky Cold Asparagus + Potato Soup
Blend 2+ cups chicken broth, handful of roasted asparagus stems, 3 cloves roasted garlic, and some of the fried potatoes to thicken; s+p to taste.
If you’re interested in learning more about purple asparagus, I found this blog post interesting. I was a little bummed to learn it had a high sugar and low fiber content.