I admit I am a little addicted to foraging for wild asparagus. As soon as I spot a purply-green shoot thrusting itself up between the undergrowth I can’t resist donning a thick pair of gloves, as the rest of the plant is spiky, and scrambling amongst the verges, beneath the trees anticipating the snap of the wild asparagus as I collect it! The best time to pick is between Spring rains when everything is greening up.
They’re not always easy to spot and I have considered following my Italian neighbour to discover where she forages but last year I found my spot! It does involve crawling up a steep bank and them fighting my way through thorny bushes but the thrill when I spot the spears of asparagus is worth all the scratches. There is a knack to this which is to get close to the ground, look for the spiky bits of the plant then somewhere nearby the single spears shoot upwards. You mustn’t pull them out as that will uproot them, but simply snap the top halves off which is the most tender to eat.
Today I found a handful of asparagus as seen in the photo and will briefly simmer them and eat them with a little extra virgin olive oil and a squirt of lemon juice – divine!