Thursday 13 May 2010

Searching for wild asparagus in Umbria

This is the time of the year to go hunting for the slender wild asparagus stalks in Umbria. Well, I say hunting it is more searching with a very big S. You see one of the great talents of the wild asparagus is to hide itself from view. You know the shoots have to be there because you can see the prickly dead weeds of last years plant as well as the equally irritating new leaves, but the shoots itself remain elusive.
Early spring is the best time of year to go asparagus hunting.

The mature asparagus looks like a small tree. It grows up to about four feet tall and has soft light branches that resemble feathers. The plant is green like the color of grass so it is camouflaged in the grass and it is hard to find.

The since mature asparagus is taller than grass, but the mature plant of the asparagus is not the part you want to eat. You want to find the small asparagus that grows up next to the mature plant. You can find several small asparagus growing near a mature asparagus plant.

You can have wonderful adventures hunting wild asparagus. And the best part besides eating the wild asparagus is that the asparagus does not bite back like other wild things.

Here is a nice asparagus recipe!
Asparagus Omelette (4 servings)

1 pound asparagus (about 1 cup) - trimmed
1 cup shredded SWiss cheese
8 large eggs
4 teaspoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a medium sauce pan, bring aparagus and 2 cups of water to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and allow asparagus to cook until tender. Drain and rinse asparagus in warm water. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, beat eggs with salt and 1/3 cup of water.
For each omelette (this recipe should make four) do the following:
Prepare a medium skillet or frying pan at medium heat with a teaspoon of melted butter. Pour 1/2 cup of the egg mixture into the pan. Cook until egg is set, occasionally lifting the edges of the omelette to allow more egg to cook. On one half of the omelette, sprinkle 1/4 cup of Swiss cheese. Top cheese with 1/4 cup of asparagus. Fold the omelette over. Allow to cook 1 more minute. Slide omelette onto serving plate. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with parsely.

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