Wild asparagus grows from early April to May. It is very popular in the kitchen because its strong taste.
There are female and male asparagus which are different in taste and lenght. Female asparagus is longer, thinner, branched but much bitter than male one therefore not popular.
We can buy also cultivated asparagus which grows in controlled area,on a field. Cultvated asparagus is thicker but also much more tasteless.
Asparagus is a bush with few meters (3 feet) long branches and green, sharp but soft thorns. This bush has also hard thorns but gloves are not necessarily needed in order to pick them.
Caution: Season for asparagus means also season for ticks. Use precautions like bright clothes to easily spot them and/ or a repelent. Check your clothes every 30min.
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Step 1: Picking
This instructable will present you wild asparagus which grows in the nature.
- strong clothes
- nylon or paper bag
- gloves (optional)
In early season when the vegetation is not fully grown you will spot the asparagus much easier. Spottting the asparagus is easier also after the rain.
Look for thin, gray branches with green and sharp thorns. Mentioned branches grow close together, usually there are 2 - 10 branches in area of 1dm square (5 inch) square. When you spot the bush, follow the branch to its base. Around the base there should be an asparagus, maybe even more than one.
Brake the asparagus 20cm (10 inch) from the top. When it's shorter than that brake it near ground level. Sometimes there are ants climbing on the asparagus so gently shake it after picking.
Look for more asparagus. It's not too hard to find them, just train your eyes about what to look for. Soon you will be able to spot them from few meters.
Step 2: Preparing
Asparagus can be eaten also raw. It has a lot of water, fibers and strong taste.
Clean with plenty of water. Because the asparagus would later develop into a branch it's possible that the lower part is already hardened/ wood. Test by squeezing or chewing how hard is it at the end. Usually 5 - 14cm, 2 - 7inch from the top is soft enough. Remove hardened part.
Cut asparagus in 1cm, 0.5 inch long pieces.
Whatever you are cooking the asparagus should be soften even more by boiling.
Step 3: Cooking
My favourite is asparagus soup. You need quite a lot of them in order to make a soup. All asparagus that i am holding in first picture are enough for 2 people. After you prepared them, put in a pot, add 4 glasses of water and cook for 20min. Than add salt, pepper, parshley and few spoons of sour cream. If you have a mixer (with blades), mix them. If you don't have a mixer, than cut asparagus in much shorter pieces. Add water and spices, if you need more soup.
You can make asparagus also with scrambled eggs. In a pan put small spoon of oil, cut bacon in small pieces and grill the bacon for 5min. Than put asparagus in same pan, add few glasses of water, spices and cook for 20min. Last 2min add few eggs. Mix with a spoon.
You can also use them with pasta. Prepare them like described in second recipe and add sour cream. You can also add melted cheese..