Rich in fiber, vitamins and antioxidants, asparagus is one of the main ingredients of any spring lunch or dinner. Asparagus was known as a spontaneous herbaceous plant and then also cultivated in the Mediterranean area over 2,000 years ago, first in Mesopotamia and then by the ancient Egyptians. There are no known traces of cultivation in Ancient Greece, but we know that it was appreciated because it was considered aphrodisiac thanks to the first literary documents dating back to 300 BC. of the Greek Theophrastus in his “History of Plants”. The Romans around 200 BC they already dealt with it in the manuals. As evidence of how much it has been part of the Mediterranean diet since then, the testimony of the extraordinary mosaics of Pompeii is enough.
Santena asparagus is particularly tasty thanks to the sandy and slightly calcareous soils of the Turin plain. It is characterized by pointed apexes and purple hues on the part of the stem closest to the ground. Steamed or boiled, they can be seasoned very simply or served with mayjonese. Versatile ingredient also for first courses or fillings, it is often presented in risottos.
In Enzo Gola’s dishes they are found especially combined with eggs or cheeses. Among the most delicious appetizers (in season) we find for example the Asparagus basket with 36-month Parmesan fondue and boiled egg, or for a vegetarian menu – Santena asparagus are flavored with malga butter, Parmesan and served with a perfect egg to the frying pan.