My post title is shorthand for "two kinds of asparagus, cooked two ways" but it's probably not clear. The fact is, it's asparagus season in the Loire Valley. Walt bought a bunch of local white asparagus spears from our favorite vendor in the market on Saturday morning. Then at the supermarket on Sunday morning I noticed bunches of green asparagus spears imported from Spain for just 2€/lb. So I bought a bunch.
We trimmed up the asparagus spears — the white ones need to be peeled, but the green ones don't — and cooked them in a steamer pot. We also cooked some potatoes in the steamer, and we sauteed a couple of little fish fillets and a few big shrimp in olive oil. I made a batch of fresh mayonnaise using an egg yolk, a mixture of olive and sunflower oil, and some white wine vinegar. We had our Sunday lunch, served warm but not hot. I thought the white asparagus tasted sweeter than the green, maybe because it was grown locally and didn't have to travel.
Then, yesterday, Walt made one of his superb asparagus and ham tarts, using both green and white asparagus spears (they're the same plant, just grown differently). The spears are wrapped in ham slices (jambon de Paris), 4 to 6 spears each, and then arranged in a pre-baked pie crust. A savory egg custard containing cream and Parmesan cheese gets poured into the pie shell, and the whole thing is baked in a hot oven for about 20 minutes. Delicious.