Due to the warmer winter weather, the fresh upshooting of wild asparagus has come early in Ibiza this year 2020. The time to forage for wild asparagus is eagerly awaited and typically comes in March or April, accompanied by a fresh scent of Spring.
Asparagus is the first of the Spring forage.
Unbeknownst to many, Ibiza is rich in wild and seasonal food that can often be had for free, as you wander out into the countryside on an organised walk, or on your own.
Foraging asparagus has been a tradition on the Island that dates back 2000 years and is thought to have been started by the Romans. Local people get very involved to this day, so you will need to look harder for any wild food!! If you run out of steam, some local Ibicenco
stores or tiendas may stock it in season.
One of my great pleasures is a day out in nature, filling a basket or sistello with wild asparagus. It grows abundantly, free and wild, and can be found all over the Island, in the wood, in the shade, in direct sunlight, frequently found at stone walls or road sides. Personal favourite foraging grounds are around the villages of Santa Gertrudis, San Mateo and Santa Agnes de Corona.
Wild asparagus grows in two different way. You are most likely to spot the variety with long, thin, emerald green spears. No need to underestimate their spindly appearance. This wild asparagus is full of favour and packs a punch.
Wild asparagus is best eaten on the day it is picked, as the longer it is in the fridge, the more bitter it becomes. So try to pick and feast on the same day – I often find myself in peak season eating it raw.
Simple to prepare, either roasted or boiled and with a few extra ingredients, such as olive oil, salt and lemon makes for a tasty dish. Other ideas are asparagus soup, or asparagus with parmesan cheese and truffle oil. Wild asparagus is special, so no scrimping on the portion size either.
A traditional local payes idea is Spanish omelette or tortilla with wild asparagus
For 8 people
16 eggs, 4 potatoes cut into cubes, 2 medium onions chopped fine, a large bunch of asparagus cut fine to the stem before the woody part.
Heat up a large frying pan with oil, toss the potato cubes into the pan, add the chopped onion, add the asparagus, add the beaten eggs and cook for 15 minutes or as desired.
Place on the side to cool and turn it upside down. Eat it immediately warm.
It’s time to get foraging in the wild!