As the pandemic has forced us all to slow down and take stock, more of us are beginning to consider the food we eat, our supply chains and how we can produce and make things at home. Learning how to identify and harvest wild asparagus with our friend Ilija in woodland by Lake Skadar connected us even more closely with the goodness of nature. Not only did it taste delicious in the three ways we prepared it (scroll down for the recipes), but it’s loaded with health-boosting nutrients, especially folate and the vitamins A, C and K, as well as antioxidants.
Wild asparagus is a delicacy adored by foodies in Montenegro and all over Europe, so our volunteer and forager-in-chief Beth is going to show you two classic ways to prepare it Montenegrin-style – as salad and with egg – plus a French favourite, quiche.
“So many of us live fast-paced lives and have widely stocked supermarkets at our fingertips, so never thought to spend time and energy outdoors seeking and collecting edible food. Here in Montenegro, foraging never went out of fashion. It’s also commonplace to have a productive vegetable garden, cramming every bit of fertile land with edible plants. Home produce even commonly extends to cheese, honey, wine and the distilled spirit, rakija (a bit like Italian grappa).
“Now the cooler days of spring are beginning to fade and the summer heat is gearing up, the foraging season for wild asparagus has drawn to a close, but this is a local secret guests are going to love on next Spring’s lake activity holidays!
Wild Asparagus Salad Recipe
1x bunch of wild asparagus
1x clove of garlic, finely chopped (or a handful of wild garlic flowers)
Red wine vinegar
- Break the asparagus stalks at the point where it snaps easily. Wash well.
- Bring a pot of water to boil and blanch the asparagus for 3 minutes until just tender.
- Remove asparagus and place in bowl of cold water to halt the cooking and retain their colour.
- Drain and then add chopped garlic (or wild garlic flowers).
- Finally drizzle with olive oil and red wine vinegar then sprinkle with salt and serve.
Wild Asparagus Omelette Recipe
1x large bunch of asparagus
1x onion, finely chopped
1 tsp mixed mediterranean herbs (thyme, oregano, rosemary or basil)
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
8x eggs, beaten
- Prepare asparagus by snapping stalks where they break easily. Wash well and chop in to smaller pieces.
- In a frying pan, add a good glug of olive oil and then add the onion. Soften slightly before adding the asparagus. Season with herbs and salt then stir well.
- Add the beaten eggs, sprinkle with pepper and allow to cook for a minute or so and then stir until the egg is completely cooked.
Wild Asparagus Quiche Recipe
For the crust;
1x large egg, beaten
2x tbsp ice water
1.5 cups flour
10 tbsp butter, cubed
- In a bowl, whisk the eggs and ice water together with a fork.
- Place flour and salt in the food processor and pulse a couple of times until evenly mixed.
- Add the butter and pulse again until everything begins to combine and looks roughly mixed.
- Pour in the egg mixture and continue to pulse until the dough gathers and forms a ball.
- On a floured surface, roll out the dough in to a rough circle (big enough to cover your quiche tin). gently place the dough on top of the tin and press in to the edges and corners.
- Slice off any over -hanging bits and use the excess to patch any thin areas or holes.
- Place quiche crust in freezer for 30 minutes.
Recipe by: https://www.confettiandbliss.com/flaky-quiche-crust/
For the filling;
1 tbsp butter
1x onion, chopped
1x large bunch of asparagus
1x cup shredded cheese (gouda or emmental)
1x large eggs
1 3/4 cups milk
Salt & pepper
- In a frying pan, melt butter and then add onions, asparagus and a pinch of salt. Cook on a medium heat until asparagus is nice and tender.
- remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before spooning the mixture in to the quiche crust.
- Whisk together the eggs, milk and pepper and pour over the vegetables.
- Heat over to 180C and bake for 40 minutes.
Inspired by: https://www.southernliving.com/recipes/asparagus-quiche