Wild Asparagus time in Mallorca








Wild asparagus or “Ttrigueros” as they are known here in Spain, grow all over the Island of Mallorca in March and April. 

The locals spend hours scouring the fields and roadsides filling their baskets with them. 
Growing wild throughout the Mediterranean, the Romans are believed to have been the first to domesticate asparagus. After the fall of the Roman Empire, asparagus was cultivated in their monastery gardens, along with medicinal herbs. Cultivated for more the 2000 years, asparagus will grow wherever it can find a good footing. Wild Asparagus loves secluded hedgerows and undisturbed country roads.
When choosing asparagus, look for firm, brightly- coloured spears with tight, crisp tips. (Very large stalks tend to come from older plants and can be tough.). If the stalks bend without breaking it’s a good sign that they have definitely seen better days. Asparagus is usually boiled or steamed, but can be grilled or roasted for a different, slightly nutty flavour. There is a special asparagus pan (useful but not necessary) that allows the spears to stand upright in boiling water, while the steam gently cooks the more delicate tips. But you can cook them simply in a large pan of boiling water, cover and boil anywhere from 3-6 minutes – this will depend on the size and freshness of the spears. (450g should be enough for 2 people.).

Saffron “Brandada” with Chorizo and Wild Asparagus

Ingredients: serves 8

16 very fine slices of Chorizo “Iberico”
16-20 cooked asparagus tips

Saffron “brandada”
1 kl salt cod (de-salted)
500g mashed potatoes
500ml milk
A pinch of saffron
2 cloves of garlic
150ml olive oil
½ onion studded with 2 cloves
A pinch of nutmeg
A pinch of cayenne pepper
Juice of 1 lemon

Place the salt cod in a saucepan and cover with the milk. Add the onion and saffron; bring slowly to the boil. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 10 minutes.
Remove the cod and add to mashed potatoes. Add olive oil, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, lemon juice and 200ml of the milk to form a light puree. Season to taste. Divide the “Brandada” between individual earthenware dishes; add 2 slices of chorizo and 2 or 3 asparagus tips.

Bake in a hot oven for 6-8 minutes and serve.

Roasted Cod in a Pine Nut-Manchego Crust  with a light Wild Asparagus-yogurt soup

Ingredients: Serves 4

4 fillets of cod
30g pine nuts, lightly toasted
50g freshly grated manchego cheese
6 fresh basil leaves
1 clove garlic
2 Tbsp olive oil
Salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 425ºF (220ºC).

Combine the pine nuts, Manchego cheese, basil, garlic and olive oil in a food processor to form a thick paste. Place the cod fillets on a light oiled baking sheet and season with salt. Pat the pine nut mixture onto the cod fillets, pressing lightly to make it adhere.

Bake in the middle of the oven for 8 minutes, until the fish is opaque all the way through.

Wild Asparagus and natural yogurt soup

Ingredients: serves 4

2 bunches of wild asparagus, chopped
500ml fish stock
1 large potato, peeled and chopped
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
200ml milk
2 tbsp plain low fat yogurt

Place the chopped asparagus, potato and onion in a large saucepan and cover with the fish stock. Bring to the boil and cook for 10-15 minutes and add the milk.

Place in a food processor and blend to a fine puree. Pass through a fine sieve; add the natural yogurt and season to taste.