Holy crap so picture this. We’re at the markets the other day shopping for all sorts of responsible things like carrots and celery and quinoa when we come across a huge standload of wild asparagus. Wild fucking asparagus. Out of nowhere. Man, we got super excited. Apparently we weren’t the only ones. We were getting advice from grandpas, vendors and just people who wanted to see what all the fuss was about.
No steam it.
Nope tastes best when fried in a little oil – not much, just a little.
Very nice with eggs.
Nods all round to that. The consensus was don’t try and be too fancy. Just enjoy it for what it is.
After some looking on the internets, we found out that it is actually a member of the lily family and only very distantly related to asparagus proper, so it probably wouldn’t be weird if they made babies. If you want to get mad nerdy, its latin name is ornithogalum pyrenaicum and it’s known in some parts as the pyrenees star of bethlehem because it makes pretty flowers later in the season. But if the field foragers get to it first, the spring shoots look somewhere between lavendar and asparagus and are sold in the markets as asperge sauvage, bath asparagus or prussian asparagus. And thank god they do because it tastes DELICIOUS. With a soft egg yolk and some truffle salt on top we guarantee it’ll make you want to thump your foot and smash everything in sight like that cartoon wolf when the pretty lady walks past.
The moral of the story is, if you are lucky enough to be at the markets when this stuff is in season, buy it. Buy all of it. Every last bunch. The season is brief and unpredictable, and if you miss it you won’t see it around till next year. So apologies for two asparagus-related posts in a row. It wasn’t planned. But with such amazing ingredients available for such short periods and the best local advice on offer, sometimes you just gotta roll with it.
1 bunch wild asparagus
pinch of truffle salt
Put a pot of water on the stove over a low heat while you get everything else ready. Don’t let it get above a bare simmer – the surface of the water should not really move. Separate the egg, discarding the white and set the yolk aside until you are ready to go.
Trim the ends if they’re starting to brown. It won’t be like regular asparagus where you have to ditch like a third of the thing. Just a few millimetres if they need it. Gently fry the stalks in a small amount of olive oil until they start to soften – two minutes max. Remove to a plate as soon as they wilt.
Gently drop the egg yolk into the water and turn the heat off immediately. Leave it for 30 seconds then very very gently scoop it out with a slotted spoon. Place on top of the asparagus and sprinkle the whole thing with the tiniest bit of truffle salt. Serve with bread to mop everything up.