Is Asparagus an Aphrodisiac?
IS ASPARAGUS AN APHRODISIAC?
Tradition says that asparagus is an aphrodisiac, but it’s never had that effect on me, nor on anyone sitting at the same table as me, as far as I could see!
It’s now the asparagus season both here in the UK and in Europe, where the asparagus is white, plump and juicy.
Ours has a tip divided into petals, but the French/Belgian version is solid.
Last week I visited a market and the woman next to me asked the stallholder what to do with asparagus as she’d never tried it! Oh, what she’s been missing all her life!
Quite honestly, it’s nicer raw! And it’s all edible, even the woody end.
I created this dip.
Mix equal quantities of salad cream or mayonnaise with tomato ketchup. Add a squirt of French mustard and mix.
Wash the asparagus and dip it in.
Don’t let any of your guests double dip! That’s my pet hate. They can turn it round and dip in the other end.
In France, I had this dish;
Mix equal amounts of breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan cheese.
Dip the asparagus in beaten egg, then roll it in the breadcrumb mix, pressing it down firmly to make the crumbs stick.
Fry in melted butter in a frying-pan for a few minutes until slightly crisp
Yes I know asparagus doesn’t have sides, but you know what I mean! turning it to crisp all sides.
Last week I had white asparagus in Belgium. Once it was boiled or steamed with a piece of sea bass on top and served with simple boiled new potatoes.
The 2nd time it was cooked and topped with a cheese sauce. Lovely!
When we lived in Spain, our neighbours taught me this recipe.
They came from Andalucia but we all lived on the Costa Blanca.
Wild asparagus grows on the mountains all over Spain.
It’s small and thin, and uncultivated.
Hit 4 whole peeled garlic cloves with the side of a knife with your hand on top to break them open.
Fry them in oil with 3 slices of stale bread.
Fish out the cloves and place them in a mortar & pestle.
Run the bread slices under the tap rapidly and add them to the mortar.
Mash the lot well.
In a little water, mix 2-3 tsps paprika, a pinch of cumin and then the washed, chopped asparagus.
Cook gently in a little oil, then add the bread mix.
Serve hot as a starter or side dish.
Asparagus soup is simple to make. There are loads of recipes.
The delicate green colour always looks attractive with a swirl of cream on the top of the plate.
Go for butter or marge to cook it as oil can float on the top.
Make it up as you go along, tasting it regularly.
Gently fry an onion until soft. Add chopped asparagus, herbs, a vegetable stock cube, hot water, seasoning, and cook until soft.
Then blitz it and serve with cream or fromage frais.
Feel free to add any other ingredients that you fancy.
If in doubt, look online.
Enjoy, and make the most of the asparagus season.
Forget the aphrodisiac legend. The enjoyment is in the eating – but if you look at the photo of the French white asparagus, it does have a certain shape!