Wild asparagus, in principle, is quite different from cultivated asparagus in several ways. However, this nutritious plant remains a reliable source of minerals like all asparagus varieties. Cultivated asparagus almost has the same appearance as wild asparagus, but it’s usually thicker and bigger. Wild asparagus are perennials, providing a nutritious source for a wild-greens lover. Each year in the early spring, we go out in the forest and bring back these edible treasures.
Rare wild foods
Wild asparagus is growing without horticultural support or manipulation. Isn’t this an advantage? Nature commands its seasonal crop and dissolution. Wild asparagus sprouts in the early spring, create thin edible straws with coniferous tips. They remind me of spears. These spears are juicy and crisp in texture. Their flavours are different depending on the terrain in which they are growing. The taste can be nutty, grassy or even sweet in some cases. When it comes to smell, wild asparagus is definitely more intensive their domesticated counterpart.
Botanical name of wild asparagus is Asparagus officinalis. It is a member of the Liliaceae family, so basically it’s a Lilly. However, it’s one of few plant species that grow outside of cultivation, yet foraged commercially for human consumption. They are known as edible wild plants and have obtained international culinary fame.
How to utilise them
As per cultivated asparagus, wild variety should be snapped at their natural breaking or bending point. Any stem below that point is usually too woody for consumption. Wild asparagus is best for you if you can prepare it raw or just slightly cooked. It can be sauteed, steamed, boiled, baked and fried, but Greek Goes Keto is all about raw these days. As the spring arrives, Mediterranean people like to utilise mushrooms, wild ramps, green garlic, fresh fennel, leeks, baby spinach, lettuce, rocket and alike. Interestingly, all citruses are combining wonderfully with asparagus, but since we are Keto, we’ll just use lemon. If you happen to be a lover of Medi-cuisine, you would love combining aged nutty cheeses, smoked pancetta, prosciutto, smoked salmon or trout, sour cream, eggs, butter… Aromatic herbs such as thyme, basil and oregano go perfectly with them!
Wild asparagus grows everywhere in nature. Its natural environments include dangerously inaccessible sea slopes, lake banks and wooded areas. Unfortunately, this makes it difficult to notice them among other vegetation. For this reason, they are considered as nature’s treasures. Other more accessible habitats include rural roadsides (this is mainly where we got them from) and forest roads.
Wild asparagus mainly grow in North America and Western Europe, however, here in south-eastern Europe, they are considered a true delicacy.
There are apps for spotting wild edible things
One of the good things from the contemporary world is the fact that we can utilise modern technology to share various information. There is an app that allows users to share the location where they found a specific ingredient! If you happen to be nearby, you will get notified about the location! Isn’t that convenient?
Greek Goes Keto Wild asparagus salad
Our version is totally Mediterranean, but you can feel free to change any ingredient. If you stay within healthy and additive-free ingredients, we guarantee you a healthy, energetic and refreshing meal. It’s getting warm out there, treat yourself with a salad – every day!
Wild Asparagus Keto Salad
- 150 g (5.3 oz) wild asparagus freshly picked, washed
- 1 medium spring onion
- 40 g (1.4 oz) red horn pepper sweet variety, chopped
- 4 large boiled eggs
- 50 g (1,7 oz) goat or sheep feta cheese
- 70 g (2.5 oz) smoked sausage without added sugar
- 1/2 tsp black, red and white pepper mixture freshly ground
- 4 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 4 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- Boil 3 large eggs, cool them down in a lot of cold water for easier peeling. slice them.
- Wash the asparagus using a mixture of baking soda, vinegar and water. Chop them. Also, chop the spring onion and mix with asparagus. Chop the red horn paprika and add it to the salad.
- Finely chop smoked sausage and crumble feta cheese. Add it to the salad. Now add sliced eggs. Mix gently.
- Mix lemon juice, olive oil, turmeric and lemon juice. Pour this dressing all over your salad and mix well. You will not need salt because feta is quite salty.
- Serve it fresh. You can keep it in the refrigerator for 2 days if you seal the container or cover the plate with plastic foil.