The weather is very stubborn this year and the Spring weather seems like a shy girl, who doesn’t want to come out from her shell and is hiding away and is grumpy and bad tempered.
The beaches are empty, it is windy and the temperatures are below normal for this time of the year. We are having temperatures below 20 degrees C (today it is 16 degrees C), although it should definitely be somewhere between 25 – 30. The weather is more like the weather we have in January, February or even March.
We were away for a couple of days at Assini (Nafplion) as we had to take care of a few matter relating to the house. We returned yesterday afternoon and I uploaded a few pictures of the progress of the house which you can see in my other blog.
In a few months my husband and I will be relocating there but the children will be staying in Athens. They have started to worry about what they will be eating when we leave and they’ve asked me to make a post and add some quick and easy recipes so that they can cook. I have promissed to do that and to add some more easy recipes.
Pasta dishes are definitely among the easiest dishes and I think there are not many people who do not eat them.
If you like asparagus this is definitely a recipe you should try. I’ve used wild asparagus but if you can’t find any I am sure you can substitute with any other kind of asparagus.
When we went to Sparta in Easter, on Saturday morning we went to Agios Nikonas church for the mass. One of my sister-in-laws lives just a few blocks away so after going to her house for a cup of coffee, she wanted to go to the farmers’ market, so we went with her. When I saw wild asparagus I could not resist buying some as well as dried oregano, thyme honey, walnuts and a few other things. I must say that those walnuts were the most delicious walnuts I’ve ever eaten and of course the wild asparagus was amazing. Oregano from Mount Taygettus is the best and local thyme honey is one of my favourite.
The stems of wild asparagus are much thinner than normal asparagus so you don’t need to peel them. You just bend them until they snap. You discard that part which is not tender and just keep the tender stems with the spear. Asparagus is derived from the greek word, asparagos or asfaragos – asparasso – sparasso (ασπάραγος ή ασφάραγος – σπαράσσω), meaning to rip, which refers to tearing the sharp scales from the stems of the plant. You then cook it the same way.
I blanched the asparagus for a few minutes in salted water. I used some to make pesto with mint and walnuts but did not add any cheese in the pesto or to the pasta, as we were fasting. You can add feta, graviera or any other cheese you like. The remaining I sauteed it with extra virgin olive oil and garlic and used it in the spaghetti together with marinated green olives with savory (throumbi). In my dish I added some taramosalata as well which made it even more delicious. So many amazing flavours mixed in one plate.
Spaghetti with Wild Asparagus Pesto
- 500 grams spaghetti
- 2 bunches wild asparagus, divided
- 3 – 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for topping
- 1 clove garlic, finely cut
- ½ cup green marinated olives, pitted
- Taramosalata, optional
Wild Asparagus pesto
- 1 cup blanched wild asparagus
- 1 handful mint leaves
- 1 sprig fresh thymari (thyme)
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp wine vinegar
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Wash the asparagusand snap off the ends keeping the most tender stems/spears.
- Bring 2 pots of water to a boil and cook spaghetti in one pot, according to the package instructions, not more than five minutes.
- In the other pot cook the asparagus for only 2 or 3 minutes, until the spears are bright green and barely tender. Drain under cool water to stop the cooking.
- To prepare pesto mix all the ingredients in a food processor. Add olive oil until it reaches the right consistency.
- In a non stick frying pan heat the olive oil and sauté the garlic until translucent, add the remaining asparagus salt and pepper and cook for 2 – 3 minutes. Add the spaghetti, olives and pesto and mix.
- Serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil on top, a tablespoon of taramosalata and more freshly grated black pepper.
I am linking this recipe to Creative Concoctions #4, Cooking with Olive Oil.
Another recipe using wild asparagus (agrelia) is this delicacy with wild asparagus and eggs.
My version has been enriched with other ingredients, such as courgette flowers and portobello mushrooms, which I had at home when making these scrambled eggs with asparagus.
Instead of adding 6 whole eggs, I added four eggs and two egg whites to make it much healthier.
Do not fry the mushrooms in the whole amount of olive oil as the mushrooms will absorb all the oil.
Agrelia (wild asparagus) with courgette flowers and Mushrooms
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove roasted garlic, mashed
- 1 bunch of wild asparagus
- 5 portobello or other mushrooms
- 10 courgette flowers
- Freshly ground black pepper
- A pinch of oregano
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 6 eggs
- Peel the mushrooms or wipe them and cut them into slices. Wash and remove the stamen from the courgette flowers and cut into smaller pieces. Wash and cut the tender parts of the wild asparagus.
Discard the harder ones.
- Heat two tablespoons olive oil in a non-stick frying pan and saute the mushrooms. Remove to a platter.
- Add the remaining olive oil and saute the onion until translucent. Add the garlic, the asparagus, courgette flowers, mushrooms, the rosemary sprig and spices and cook for 5 – 6 minutes.
- Finally add the eggs and mix until they are cooked.
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,
Other relevant recipes: