As it it Asparagus season, yesterday I tried this ancient recipe with asparagus called “Aliter Patina de Asparagis” and taken from Apicius’ book, “De Re Coquinaria”. It is made with eggs, asparagus, wine and lots of herbs. It turned out to be very tasty. I can’t wait to make it again!
The recipe in Latin:
Aliter patina de aparagis: Adiecies in mortario asparagorum praecisuras, quae proiciuntur, teres, suffundes vinum, colas. Teres piper, ligusticum, coriandrum viride, satureiam, cepam, vinum, liquamen et oleum. Sucum transferes in patellam perunctam, et, si volueris, ova dissolves ad ignem, ut obliget. Piper minutum asperges. De Re Coquinaria, book 4
A dish of Asparagus: Put in the mortar asparagus tips, pound, add wine, pass through the sieve. Pound pepper, lovage, fresh coriander, savory, onion, wine, liquamen, and oil. Put purée and spices into a greased patina, and break eggs over it when it is on the fire, so that the mixture sets. Sprinkle finely ground pepper over it and serve.
- 500g green asparagus
- 50ml white wine
- 1 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
- 1 tsp celery seeds or celery leaves, chopped (I used celery leaves)
- 4 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped
- 1/2 tsp savory
- 1/2 onion, minced
- 50ml white wine
- garum (fish sauce), to taste (but add at least 1 tsp)
- 50ml olive oil
- 4 eggs
If the asparagus is old, peel, otherwise there’s no need. Snap-off the woody bases of the stalks then cut off the heads and reserve. Plunge the stalks in lightly-salted boiling water and cook for 10 minutes, or until tender. Remove the stalks with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool then blanch the heads in the same water for 5 minutes before removing and setting aside.
Puree the stalks (I did it using a food processor), add 50ml of the wine then set aside.
Pound the herbs and black pepper to a paste in a mortar then combine with the remaining white wine, onion, fish sauce and olive oil in a casserole (or a flame-proof ceramic dish) and bring to a low simmer for about 10 minutes.
Whisk together the eggs and pour slowly into the dish, stirring all the time. Still stirring, continuously add the asparagus puree and cook until the mixture thickens then take off the heat and add the reserved asparagus tips.
I was worried at one point that there was too much liquid and that the mixture would not come together but as you can see, it turned out wonderfully.
I hope you will try it and enjoy it!