Wild Asparagus, a photo by Ayala Moriel on Flickr.
Yes - you guessed it!
While rummaging through the wadi in Clil with my family, we spotted many buds and new shoots of wild asparagus. It's hard to believe the these shoots are of the same plant - they are so much more plump than the grown branches; their leaves curled in embriotic-like tenderness that recalls none of the porcupine-like prickliness of the mature spiky leaves. But if you see it in real life, the newborn branches developing in the spring, you can understand the connection and marvel at how precious is this moment in life when it is not only edible, but a real gourmet item
Far thinner than the cultivated variety, the wild asparagus has also a more intense flavour, with some intriguing bitterness emerging towards the end of the season. To prepare it, cut the stems only if they don't fit your steaming basket. Steam for a very short period of time, removing from the steam immediately once they've changed into a vibrant green and are easily snapped into two.
Seasoning, as in most top-notch vegetables, need to remain simple to really make the flavour shine: a sprinkle of coarse sea salt or fleur de sel, and a generous drizzle of pure virgin olive oil. Serve and enjoy immediately on its own, or on top of hot pasta or brown rice with shaved Parmesan cheese.