In certain parts of Spain the search for green asparagus is regarded almost as a sport, requiring sharp observation and a somewhat reckless spirit, as finding it is no easy task. But in Granada the wild plant has become sucessfully acclimatized and grows on a huge scale on the plains. This nutritious and very beautiful vegetable appeared in the sepulchral paintings of ancient Egypt, while the Greeks valued its diuretic and pain-killing qualities. It has featured in Spanish recipes throughout the ages. The fourteenth-century Catalan book Libre de Sent Sovi includes a recipe which is definitely a predecessor of the current version of esparragos esparragados. Libro del Arte de Cocina (1599) by Diego Granado and Nuevo Arte de Cocina (1745) by Juan de Altamiras both mention wild asparagus and suggest different ways of preparing it.
For this recipe, the best asparagus is the dark green, sharp-tasting variety which grows in mountainous areas. There is also a sweeter light green variety called trigueros.
- 1 bunch wild green asparagus (or white ribs of Swiss chard, cut into strips) (8 ounces)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 thick slice French bread
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 3 eggs
Wash the asparagus and snap off the woody stems. Break into pieces.
Heat the oil in a heatproof casserole and fry the garlic. Remove and set aside.
Saute the asparagus in the same oil.
Crush the garlic and bread in a mortar, or puree in a blender, adding a small amount of water. Add this mixture and the paprika to the asparagus and stir. Add a little more water, a small amount of salt and the vinegar.
Cover and cook over medium heat for approximately 30 minutes (some liquid should be left).
Before serving, beat the eggs, add to the casserole and stir to scramble with the asparagus.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Russell. All rights reserved.
nutrition information per serving
197 calories; 14g total fat; 159mg cholesterol; 94mg sodium; 11g carbohydrates; 3g fiber; 8g protein
These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.
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