How to Pick, Preserve and Serve Wild Asparagus

Although asparagus is more of a spring plant, we just had a delicious scrambled eggs with asparagus, pancetta, soft cheese and green onion and I want to share a few tips with you.

I already wrote about the benefits of this plant and shared two recipes – fritaja (scrambled eggs) with asparagus and asparagus soup. You can find the post here.

Picking Asparagus

The time to pick wild asparagus is from March till the end of May. This plant loves rain and they often grow on southern areas and slopes. It is advised to have a stick while picking them, to find your way through the dense sparozina (thorny plant surrounding the asparagus). Choose old clothes to go in the adventure of picking asparagus. Nowadays, you can also buy a stick with scissors on the end that cut the asparagus and pick it. If you use this stick your hand won’t be ruined. Small bruises on the hands is a sign of a asparagus picker.

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Picked asparagus ready to be cleaned, with a measuring scale and a picking stick
Picked asparagus ready to be cleaned, with a measuring scale and a picking stick

If the season is good, meaning if we manage to pick more asparagus than we can eat, we usually boil them and put them in deep freeze.

Cleaning and Preserving Asparagus

Just clean the hard part of the plant and cut or break the soft parts with your fingers into smaller pieces. Boil them for a few minutes until soften a little bit. The best way to freeze them is by spreading them in in a freezing bag, into layers tick up to 1 cm. This way, you won’t have to defreeze the whole bag, but just take as much as you need and return the rest into the freezer.

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Cleaned and “breaked” asparagus – ready to be used

Cooking with Asparagus – a Few Ideas

This is exactly what I did this morning and my whole family enjoyed this wonderful plant and it’s astringent taste.

scrambled_eggs_with_asparagus

You can also boil asparagus and serve them as part of carpaccio, or in a salad with boiled eggs and also boiled meat. Asparagus are also often combines with seafood, and can be added to salads or pasta sauce together with gamberi or scampi. One of my favorite recipes that my mother prepares is in puff pastry with soft cheese and boiled ham.

Did You Know

Did you know that old Greeks used asparagus in medicine to treat kidney diseases, dysentery and blood purification. Egyptians also appreciated asparagus because of its healing properties and they also put them in the tombs to accompany the dead on the journey to the other world. Romans are the first who cultivated asparagus. They picked it on the south and then transported it to the Alps where they kept the offsprings in snow for six months and brought them back to the south for celebrations. Araps considered that the asparagus had aphrodisiac properties, and Madame Pompadour also believed that they are a great love stimulans. A big admirer of asparagus was also french king Louis XIV.

How do you prepare asparagus?

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