A photo-guided walk through the Sierrezuela (it’s beginning to bloom!) — and a recipe for wild asparagus in tomato

Hi folks! I’m back again — but this time with less waffle and more photos. After all, a picture’s worth a hundred words, isn’t it?

The topic’s the same as last time — the beautiful Sierrezuela of Posadas which forms part of the vast Natural Park of Hornachuelos. View on (and please consult the following links for more… https://www.posadas.es/turismo/patrimonio_natural/parque_periurbano_la_sierrezuela and http://turismoposadas.es/wp-content/uploads/guia-educacion-ambiental-sierrezuela.pdf — both great for your Spanish!! Also, not forgetting my illustrated book An English Lady in Cordova, available from me and also from here https://www.etsy.com/es/shop/GillysWork?ref=search_shop_redirect. View for more descriptions of this neck of the woods and to learn of my humorous adventures!)

Recipe for wild asparagus in a rich tomatoey sauce (my way)

Ingredients

A bunch of wild asparagus

Olive oil

Some tomato concentrate (‘tomate frito’ if you are in Spain – about 220 g) and a couple of chopped tomatoes if you have them

A fat onion, chopped

A couple of cloves of garlic, squashed

2 cloves

Cumin powder and smoked sweet paprika – a tsp of each

Small glass of red wine or ‘fino’ or ordinary white, if that’s what you happen to have

Salt, pepper and brown sugar to taste

Croutons fried in olive oil (don’t let the oil smoke!)

Method

Cut the tender top parts of the asparagus into 1 cm pieces (or to your liking). In a pan, fry the chopped onion in a generous amount of olive oil, on medium fire. Add the garlic after about a couple of minutes, when the onion is translucent. Cook for a further minute. Now add the cumin and paprika powders and the cloves. Stir-fry a bit longer, then chuck in your asparagus bits. Increase the fire and throw in the booze. Let it bubble away so that most of it evaporates, then add your tomatoes and puree. (If you don’t have chopped tomatoes, don’t worry, add more puree. You’re aiming for a rich tomato gravy.) When it starts bubbling a lot, add your salt, pepper and about a teaspoon of sugar (wild asparagus can be quite bitter). Let it simmer with lid half on until the asparagus is tender and a rich, tomatoey gravy has formed. Check for seasoning. You can always add more cumin and smoked sweet paprika if you like. In a separate frying pan, cook your croutons in olive oil, then add to the cooked asparagus dish.

And Bob’s your uncle — ready to eat!

PS. If you don’t want to waste the woody, prickly stalk of the asparagus, you can simmer these together with other vegetables, to make a stock. Might have to add a pinch of sugar or extra carrots to balance out the bitterness though.

And as for my vegetable patch — no photos this time because it is looking pretty much the same — except it now has the addition of a worrying amount of furry caterpillars that are steadily and stealthily invading the whole of the countryside! Let’s see if my Swiss chard and spinach seedlings escape their voracious jaws…

That’s all for now — thanks for reading — back soon!

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