Spring deliciousness in Croatia
Along the Croatian Coast and the Istrian Peninsula an annual symbol of spring is emerging. A favorite pastime is to set out for fields to seek and gather wild asparagus and then serve it up in numerous ways that highlight its flavor, texture and versatility.
Asparagus originated in the Eastern Mediterranean and has long been valued for its diuretic and vitamin properties, since ancient Greek and Roman times.
Bend spears of asparagus until they break, keeping the tender ends for dishes described below, and saving the woodier ends for making a healthy sipping broth.
Asparagus and eggs are a natural pairing – delicious and both icons of Spring.
Steam asparagus and then fold into scrambled eggs, perhaps adding chopped chives or spring garlic. A dash of salt, a grind of fresh pepper and you have a simple, nutritious supper. Or make into a frittata, perhaps adding a grated or crumbled cheese of choice.
2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and cut into eighths while still warm, tossed with a teaspoon of capers, a Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, a dash of wine vinegar, and a little chopped spring onion, a sprinkling of salt and perhaps a shake of paprika, mixed together and served over blanched or steamed asparagus (cooked just enough that it is still al dente, not mushy). A squeeze of lemon on top heightens and brightens this dish further.
Asparagi with pršt rižot (Risotto with asaparagus and dry cured ham)
Another winner is to make a creamy risotto, using asparagus, mushroom, or chicken broth, adding in ½ inch pieces of tender asparagus in the final few minute of stirring, and then adding small shreds of delicious pršt or prosciutto at the end. Another excellent simple supper that is comforting and good for you!