White asparagus is often grown under a thick layer of mulch so that it doesn't have the chance to photosynthesize sunlight and develop its usual green colour. Impress your guests with this unique and delicious springtime vegetable!
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, bring milk, water and salt to a boil, then gradually whisk in cornmeal until blended.
Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until grits are tender, about 45 minutes, stirring frequently.
Meanwhile, poach asparagus (see recipe below)
Stir in butter, cheese, garlic scapes and black pepper until blended. Keep grits warm until ready to serve.
Meanwhile, trim woody ends from asparagus and blanch in boiling salted water for two minutes, then place in an ice water bath to stop cooking process. Pat asparagus dry with paper towel, then thinly slice on the diagonal. Set aside.
Pat shrimp dry with paper towel and season lightly with salt and pepper. Set aside.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter. Working in batches if necessary, sauté shrimp until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side.
Spoon hot grits into a warmed serving bowl, top with reserved asparagus and shrimp, garnish with chopped chives, if desired, and serve immediately.