This asparagus casserole recipe is a little known gem displaying the delicious flavors of the Mediterranean spring. Wild asparagus are exquisite, but it admits green varieties too.

This quick and easy recipe is a brilliant example of the seasonal landscape cuisine that has been naturally kept in the Catalan Countries and across the Mediterranean basin.

Ingredients for this asparagus casserole recipe

Serves 4 as appetizer or side dish

  • 3 bundles asparagus ï¿½ chopped into 2 or 3-inch pieces
  • 1 pound fresh peas ï¿½ shelled
  • 2-tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium-sized ripe tomatoes ï¿½ peeled and grated
  • 1 big onion ï¿½ finely chopped
  • bay leaves
  • 1-teaspoon flour
  • 1/8-teaspoon salt
  • 2-cups water
  • 4 corns black pepper

For the picada

  • 4 small cloves garlic ï¿½ peeled
  • 4 toasted almonds
  • A piece of toasted bread of about 2 inches
  • 1 small sprig flat Italian parsley ï¿½ leaves finely chopped

How to prepare this asparagus casserole recipe

  1. Cut and discard the hard stem ends of the wild asparagus. Although it varies a lot depending on their origin, you should chop at least 2 inches.

 

  1. Chop the asparagus into 2-inch pieces and steam them for five minutes with the 2 cups of water. Do not discard the remaining water from steaming, set it aside.

 

    • Steaming is the best way to cook asparagus, preferable to boiling as it ensures that the wild asparagus keep the freshness of the landscape where they naturally sprang up.

 

  1. Now it’s time for the sofregit or Catalan tomato sauce. This time cook it uncovered. Heat the olive oil in a casserole and add the onion.Turn heat to low and stir for about 3 minutes. Add the tomato and the bay leaves and stir. Cook 2 more minutes.

 

  1. Add the peas, making sure that the heat is low to prevent burning, and cook for 15 minutes stirring now and then.

 

  1. In the meantime prepare the picada.
    Pound with mortar and pestle, first the garlic, then the almonds and finally the bread and the Italian parsley leaves. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of the asparagus water to dilute and bind the picada.

 

  1. When the peas are tender, add the tablespoon flour and 1 cup of the asparagus water you set aside. Cook 2 more minutes.

 

  1. Add the steamed asparagus, pepper, salt and the picada. Stir, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Serve hot.

 

 

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