Sunday, June 23, 2013

Where the wild things are

It’s such a revelatory experience for me to savor something new; not so much a product of some novel culinary technique but rather new foods, new raw flavors like a vegetable or a fruit.

I’m constantly amazed when I realize how many vegetables and fruits are out there for me to savor. I feel my taste buds come alive with the prospect and I become intensely aware of all that nature so generously offers to us.

I wasn’t looking to find these when they appeared in front of me at the market, pale green and slender. The wild green asparagus. Looking much thinner and longer than their regular green counterparts.

I couldn’t help but picking up a bunch. Where would I find them again? Their season is nearing its end.

Their taste is close to the green asparagus but fresher and grassier, reminiscent of mellow spring onions or chives with a mild heat and slight bitterness.

I decided the best way to use them would be in an omelette. I’d bought some fresh pea shoots and I had some ricotta in the fridge so I went for it.

Butter, together with a little olive oil to keep it from burning, eggs with a splash of cream to make them even more luscious and the thinner-than-thin spears of the fresh green wild asparagus cut into thirds.

After only a few minutes, lunch was served. S and I dug in and ate it straight from the pan. It was marvelous. With some fresh bread and a glass of white wine, we almost forgot that it was raining outside and that I had a cold

Wild Green Asparagus Omelette with Ricotta and Pea Shoots

I understand that not all of you will be able to find wild asparagus (different kinds can be found in different countries) but regular green asparagus will work as well. Blanched green beans or sautéed spring onions or even young leeks make good alternatives.

I use a wide skillet to make my omelettes because I enjoy them thin—I hate thick omelettes—but, you know, it’s up to you.

Yield: lunch for 2 hungry people

3-4 Tbsp (50 g) unsalted butter
1½ Tbsp olive oil
100 g wild green asparagus spears (40-50 spears), rinsed, dried and cut into thirds
6 large eggs
1-2 Tbsp cream, full-fat
Freshly ground black pepper
100 g fresh ricotta cheese
A handful of pea shoots

Special equipment: a wide, round-sided skillet or frying pan

Add butter and olive oil in a wide, round-sided skillet or frying pan and set over a medium-high heat. Once the butter melts and starts to foam and sizzle, add the asparagus. Sauté them for about 3 minutes, until they soften a bit and add a little salt and pepper.

In the meantime, in a medium-sized bowl add the eggs, cream, a little salt and pepper and whisk until slightly frothy.

Pour the eggs over the asparagus and using a wooden spoon, stir the eggs around a bit and then leave to cook over medium-low heat. It will take 6-7 minutes for the eggs to cook, for a slightly runny top. Cook more or less time depending on how you like your eggs. Be careful not to burn the bottom of the omelette.

One minute before the eggs are cooked, dot the omelette with ricotta. Once ready, either slide and fold the omelette onto a platter or, like us, eat it straight from the pan. Sprinkle with some ground black pepper and add the fresh pea shoots on top.



  1. I don't think I've ever even laid eyes on wild asparagus before! Super jealous of that beautiful fresh omelet. :)

  2. I too have never seen wild asparagus before, I love omelets of all types such a great quick meal.

  3. I wish I could find these at the market! I'm soooooo hungry at the moment that I could eat my laptop so this omelette would be perfect to calm my impatiente tummy :)

  4. Great title and lovely post! I have always heard of wild asparagus but have never seen it. I also like how you made your omelet! No butter was spared! ~ David

  5. I've never seen wild asparagus. They look perfect in your omelette.

  6. Wild asparagus... that is a 1st for me! This omelette looks so delicious and your egg yolks are hot!

  7. Oh my Magda, I am in awe of those gorgeous wild asparagus. I've never seen such beauties at our markets. WOW!
    And I feel the exact same way... when I find a stunning new ingredient, I'm always inspired.
    Hope you are well Magda,

  8. How lucky you were to find these wild, beautiful spears--I have never seen them before either, but I can just imagine their taste from your elegant description and photographs.

  9. yum ... I'll never forget the first time I had wild asparagus. I was hiking Mt. Tibidavo in Catalonia and a friendly stranger gifted me a bunch. I still remember how they tasted! Spicy and almost peppery.

  10. Omygosh! We had this EVERYWHERE last year, I had no idea that's what it was. Looking forward to this delicious looking omelet, maybe I'll try them next to chicken with Hollandaise sauce!

  11. I had no idea that was asparagus! It grows super fast and I have to mow it down every week. I'll have to try it next to chicken with Hollandaise sauce.