Tag Archives: wild asparagus

cooking the haul…

Cooking the results of foraging…

This was SO satisfying, cooking some of the stuff we gathered (see here and here), especially things  i had never even heard of, never mind eaten before.

Even raw the pungitopo (see end of yesterday’s post) tasted good…stalks the colour of young aubergines, sweet, then bitter and then a kind of a raw chestnutty after-taste, the resulting risotto was also sweet and delicate and pretty darn good really…here is what we did with our harvest:

wild asparagus & pungitopo risotto (risotto agli asparagi selvatici & turioni di pungitopo – ta D!) & wild chicory salad (Insalata di cicoria selvatica)

Make a stock with what ever you have to hand and add the chopped asparagus and pungitopo tips (the asparagus will need a little longer to soften) to tenderise them, remove from the liquid when the are cooked but not mushy and reserve the stock.

In another pan sweat some chopped onions and wild garlic or chives in some good oil till soft, season and then add the risotto rice and mix for a minute or so so that all the rice is nicely coated.

Add a ladle full of your stock and keep stirring till the stock is all absorbed, keep repeating this action one ladle at a time till the rice is cooked to your taste, just before the end add the asparagus/pungiotopo tips.

Serve with a wild green leaf salad known around here (outskirts of Rome) as cicoria (similar name but apparently not the same as our wild chicory), chopped up with some onion, wild garlic, a hard boiled egg, seasoned and dressed with olive oil and lemon juice…The bitterness of the salad is a great counterpart to the sweetness of the risotto.

For a much more comprehensive and expert guide to foraging click here and here

other food posts:

chocolate con churros

pani puri sunday

cicchetti tea-break

baracca

empanada

further adventures in foraging

revelations in a milanese restaurant

further adventures in foraging

braid burn

foraging2

foraging

more foodie questions

foodie questions

nose to tail,

(s)light relief,

pulpo a la gallega

the matanza

morcilla and dying arts

jamòn serrano

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foraging 2…

I know a bit about food but this has been a revelation, this foraging lark, not like growing/rearing your own food (which i know well, which i grew up with)…this is a new skill to learn, now you have to become a bit of a detective…but its easy here in the Italian countryside with someone who knows what he is talking about and in a relatively “safe” patch of land. Researching into foraging in Scotland, i keep finding scary stories of middle class dinner parties going awry with people ending up on dialysis machines due to eating the wrong kind of mushrooms (allegedly experienced foragers too!!!! click here for THAT full story) think i will steer clear of the fungi for now, but am definitely going to give the rest of it a go.

More stuff we found:

Garlic mustard, you eat the leaves in a salad, they taste mildly of garlic.

Dandelions (dente di leone – get their name from their leaves that are characterised by jaggy lions teeth shaped edges), along with nettles are probably the easiest thing to find, cos we all know what they look like. You can eat the flowers and the young tender leaves in salads, but the fields are full of similar faux yellow dandeliony looking plants. One of the ways to tell if its a real dandelion is the hollow stem.

THE HAUL…including, wild asparagus, pungitopo*, garlic mustard, silver beet (cultivated) wild garlic/chives, a kind of chicory…recipes to follow in the next day or two

For a much more comprehensive and expert guide to foraging click here

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* pungitopo seems to have lots of common names in english like: Butcher’s Broom, Kneeholy, Knee Holly, Kneeholm, Jew’s Myrtle, Sweet Broom, Pettigree, none of which i had heard of before. Anyway its hardy, it thrives in shady situations and is found in the UK so look for it!

other food posts on this blog

chocolate con churros

pani puri sunday

cicchetti tea-break

baracca

empanada

further adventures in foraging

revelations in a milanese restaurant

further adventures in foraging

foraging

more foodie questions

foodie questions

nose to tail,

(s)light relief,

pulpo a la gallega

the matanza

morcilla and dying arts

jamòn serrano

foraging…


foraging for food in the roman countryside…

Wild asparagus, you look for this frondy, ferny creeping type plant, then underneath that you will find the wild asparagus tip growing up from the earth…

wild asparagus stalks

…this is another similar kind of plant (but no relation) to the asparagus, pungitopo (ruscus aculeatus),  more bitter, less woody stalks with a sweet aftertaste…tastes fantastic, needs a bit less cooking.


the shrub looks like this

The edible tips poke out of the ground just like the wild asparagus.

For a much more comprehensive and expert guide to foraging click here

more foodie posts on this blog:

chocolate con churros

pani puri sunday

cicchetti tea-break

baracca

empanada

further adventures in foraging

revelations in a milanese restaurant

further adventures in foraging

foraging2 2

more foodie questions

foodie questions

nose to tail,

(s)light relief,

pulpo a la gallega

the matanza

morcilla and dying arts

jamòn serrano