Today on „Italian Recipes“ we talk about asparagus. Italians call this vegetable „royal“ because of its properties. Asparagus has been used as a vegetable and medicine, owing to its delicate flavour and diuretic properties. In ancient times, it was known in Egypt, Syria and Spain. Greeks and Romans ate it fresh when in season, and dried the vegetable for use in winter; Romans even froze it high in the Alps, for the Feast of Epicurus. The points d’amour (“love tips”) were served as a delicacy to Madame de Pompadour. Asparagus became available to the New World around 1850, in the United States.
Water makes up 93% of Asparagus’s composition. Asparagus is low in calories and is very low in sodium. It is a good source of vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium and zinc, and a very good source of dietary fibre, protein, beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, rutin, niacin, folic acid, iron, phosphorus, potassium, copper, manganese and selenium, as well as chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells. The amino acid asparagine gets its name from asparagus, as the asparagus plant is relatively rich in this compound.
The shoots are prepared and served in a number of ways around the world, typically as an appetizer or vegetable side dish, in Italy as well. There many areas in Italy where asparagus is grown – Liguria, Veneto, Emilia-Romagna, Toscanos, Lazio ir Campania. Altedo is titled as an Italian asparagus capital. And for the most part Lombardi are content to let others do the growing and simply cook them. The following recipe is probably the simplest way to prepare and enjoy asparagus, but the combination of just a few ingredients in this dish is very tasty.
1,5 kg of asparagus
15 g unsalted butter
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and cracked black pepper
Boil the asparagus in gently boiling water until cooked. Divide the asparagus into four parts. Melt the butter in a frying pan and fry the eggs until the whites are set but the yolks remain soft. Put bunches of asparagus in the pan and place one egg on top of each bunch of asparagus. Sprinkle with a little salt, and some coarsley cracked black pepper. Next sprinkle equally over each bunch the fresh Parmesan cheese. Wait until the cheese melts down and then serve. With Asparagus alla milanese could be served red gentil wine, for example Morellino di Scansano.
Read more HERE about Morellino di Scansano.