Village Life: Wild Asparagus
This year has been a very mild winter, and the last couple of weeks have been incredibly wet. The upshot of this is that the wild asparagus which grows all throughout Dalmatia have popped up earlier than usual for another season. Yesterday the Baby Donkey and I were taking one of our regular walks through the fields in our hometown, and we came across a few, so I decided to get in early and try and grab enough to cook up some wild asparagus and eggs.
I love foraging, whether it be for snails, mushrooms, or wild asparagus. The challenge of finding your own food is gratifying, plus the family loves it. In addition, it’s a good reason for the Little Donkey and me to get outside.
Wild Asparagus plants are actually straightforward to identify as they stand out from the rest of the vegetation. It’s a spiky green bush, so there is no mistaking it for some other plant that will make you sick.
The tricky part is spotting the purple, green asparagus spears, which are typically hidden away amongst the undergrowth. I have to admit, the first few times I went looking for asparagus, I returned with very little. It takes some time to get your “eye in.” Once you do, Bob’s your uncle, and you will get enough to feed the family on most occasions.
Unlike the commercial asparagus, wild asparagus is thin and delicate; however, it packs much more of a flavor punch than its cousin. There is a subtle sweetness coupled with a slight bitterness. My favorite way to eat them is with scrambled eggs.
Scrambled Eggs with Wild Asparagus
If you can get your hands on wild asparagus and free-range eggs, this is absolutely delicious!
- A bunch of wild asparagus. You can put as much or as little as you like, depending on how much you like them
- 4 free-range eggs
- A knob of butter
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Wash your asparagus and remove the hard bits. Cut into 2-3 cm pieces
- Bring some water to the boil and blanch the asparagus for 5min
- Get a frying pan and place it on low heat. Toss your knob of butter into the pan and add your asparagus. Let them cook for a couple of minutes
- Now break your eggs into a bowl and give them a quick whisk, then add them to the pan
- Now delicately and slowly move the eggs around the pan. You want the eggs to stay light, fluffy, and moist. As the eggs start to come together, take them off the heat and serve with a nice piece of chewy toasted ciabatta
There are numerous ways to cook wild asparagus; what’s your favorite?