Espàrrecs – Asparagus with white wine

Espàrrecs si vols fer; quan seran perbullits e sosengats mith-hi vin blanc e espècies comunes e un poc de bon sucre blanc.


Serves 4

  • about 450 g green asparagus
  • 1,5 dl water
  • olive oil
  • 0,5 dl white wine
  • pinch of common spices: cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, salt
  • pinch of sugar

Snap off the dry ends of asparagus and carefully peel the asparagus ends if needed (if they are very thick and woody, usually not necessary in my opinion). Place the asparagus on a large frying pan and add about 1,5 dl water and let it simmer for about 5 mins. Be careful not to overcook. Pour the remaining water away. Add oil and fry about 6 minutes and add white wine and spices. Boil well and serve hot.

Comments: The original recipe does not specify what kind of common spices were supposed to use for the dish. There is 87 recipes in Sent Sovi. Most common spices in the recipes are cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt. Also pepper (and saffron) were mentioned several times. Other spices like nutmeg, grains of paradise, cubebs, long pepper was mentioned.

Like in many other medieval dish there is sugar in ingredient list and the dish tastes sweet because of it. Sugar enhance other flavors in the dish. Serve this dish for 4 people as an appetizer or with other main course dish.

Source: The book of Sent Sovi: Santanach, Vogelzang. 14th century