Found this bunch of wild asparagus at Marché Central de Tunis and was very excited. I have eaten wild asparagus in Sicily but only on a few occasions because I have not always visited Sicily in spring. It is a spring vegetable and obviously the wild asparagus is appreciated in Tunis as well. Wild asparagus all over Sicily.
Next in Sicily and we found plants on our climb up La Rocca in Cefalu.
We then found plants growing in the garden at our B&B in Cefalu and took photos of the two types of plants which produce the wild asparagus shoots; although they are coming to the end of their season these plants had shoots.
To our delight we ate some where we stayed in the Agruturismo in the Madonie Mountains. It was cooked in a frittata and the shoots appeared again in a pasta dish with sausages made from the special, breed of pork only found in the Madonie and the Nebrodi mountains.(Slow Food)
For those of you who have not eaten wild asparagus:
The shoots taste slightly bitter. They are the shoots of a very stubborn plant with sharp and needle-like leaves and the asparagus are difficult to pick.
You need to wash the shoots well, snap any of the woody ends just to the point at which the stalk bends and discard the very woody bottom. Cook the top part of the asparagus stalks in salted water and then use in the frittata or as an ingredient in the pasta. If they are not woody their tender tips are great raw.
There was also much fennel around in Tunis and braised some in a little butter and a dash of red wine vinegar. It is not necessarily the way I normally cook it but one makes do when one is away and staying in an apartment and it did taste good.
One thought on “WILD ASPARAGUS IN SICILY AND TUNIS (ASPARAGI SELVATICI)”
Hi Marisa, I remember being in Sicily this time last year, and they were selling what they called “sparagogni” everywhere. I even went foraging for them in the forest. They looked like wild asparagus but it had a bitter/sweet flavour. The true wild asparagus was sweet, without any bitter. I have since learnt that these are called bruscandoli in Italian and are, in fact, the tender shoots of the hop plant (the beer plant!) I would love to get hold of some here in Australia, but none of these are available. (not the hop, nor the wild asparagus!)