Wild asparagus is rightly known as the queen of Istria's wild-growing ingredients. It protects our health with a wealth of vitamins, minerals and digestible fibres, and it has always been considered an aphrodisiac. Going off to pick wild asparagus is like hunting for hidden treasure, even more so because, at the end of the day, they are used to make famous local favourites whose pleasantly bitter flavour will please even the most demanding of palates.
Wild asparagus frittata
To make this delicacy, you'll need a large bunch of wild asparagus, extra virgin olive oil, 8 eggs, 100g of Istrian bacon or prosciutto, salt and pepper.
Wash and dry the asparagus and remove the woody bottoms by either snapping or cutting them off. Then chop the rest into equal parts. Heat a bit of olive oil in a pan, add the minced bacon or prosciutto and sauté over medium heat until it begins to turn a nice golden colour. You can also add a half a clove of garlic to the oil, but remove it when you add the bacon – let it just add a hint of flavour to the oil and bacon. Then add asparagus and sauté for 3-4 minutes to soften and brown them. Young asparagus will soften quickly. Turn down the heat. Pour the beaten, salted and peppered eggs over the asparagus and bacon and cook on a low heat until the eggs come to your desired level of doneness.
Serve immediately. Bon appétit!
Istrian-style fuži with wild asparagus
The combination of homemade Istrian fuži pasta with wild asparagus, all made by hand, brings all the history, tradition and love of this region to the table in the form of a delicious Istrian meal.
Sauté the prepared asparagus and minced prosciutto or bacon until golden, pour over a decilitre and a half of Malvasia, and mix into just boiled and strained fuži, drizzle with lemon juice, sprinkle with parmesan, and mix.
Your meal is ready to serve.
Clean the wild asparagus, dry them and leave them whole. Heat your grill pan, oil it with bacon skin or, for vegetarians, olive oil. Cook the asparagus on high heat for 4-6 minutes until they brown on all sides. Near the end, add salt and lemon juice, mix well and serve on a plate alongside roasted meat or a hearty mushroom risotto.
The simplest dishes often provide the best flavours.