Hunting Wild Asparagus at Sardinia, Italy

During my recent stay back in Canada, I found myself reminiscing about the long walks, deep within the folds of Sardinia’s glorious green mountains where I learned to hunt wild asparagus. It’s a prickly, skinny, long and utterly wild plant, and more often than not I was left with razor-sharp cuts on my arms and hands. There was even this time I fell into the base of the asparagus plant, and well, that didn’t go to good. Cuts, scrapes and blood up and down both legs, on the palm of my hands and even my right elbow got into the fight, but that didn’t stop me from my yearning to sample the earth’s wild delights.

Where the wild asparagus grows.

It took me years to pick out the lengthy green stalks from the entangled mess of the plant and once I did, I was delirious with excitement. I now have the expert eye, or so I should like to think as I can spot growing, fresh asparagus from a moving car. All I need to do is yell out “Asparagau!” and hubby stops the car, I hop out and add a stalk or four to the already growing mass of stalks.

Two stalks of asparagus growing with ease.

Generally, the good long stalks are growing within that mass of branches in the background of the above photos. There’s where all the cuts and scrapes come from, it’s worth every blood drop lost.

A few of my favourite recipes with Sardinia’s wild asparagus:

  • Asparagus and onion fritatta
  • Pasta with sautéed pancetta, onion, garlic and asparagus
  • Sautéed asparagus and potatoes with raw garlic
  • Pickled Asparagus

The list could go on! I can’t wait to get back out there for another asparagus hunt where the sun kisses my face and the earth provides delicious wild treats.

A bunch of wild asparagus

Thank you, Sardinia for providing essential nutrients that I can gather with my own two hands. I am eternally grateful.

Is there anything wild and delicious in your area?

About Jennifer Avventura

Canadian Freelance writer living in Sardinia, Italy. A serial expat who has lived in Australia, England and Cayman Islands. She eats Nutella with a spoon and hides under the bed during lightning storms. When she's not out running 6k you will find her sitting at the computer - writing her novel and searching for worldwide waitress work.
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7 Responses to Hunting Wild Asparagus at Sardinia, Italy

  1. Rosalie Stuart says:

    Dear Jennifer.
    I fell down a three meter well it was in the Bosa region.
    I was with a friend otherwise I would have remained underground until found, it was a small country road someone would have found my empty car after time!!,with luck I had my friend..
    Since this happened I have been warned by locals to be vigilant in Sardinia when out walking in the country as their are many pot holes, wells, and old underground tombs ext so always be vigilant and always look to the ground when you go out to forage and always go with someone else,I had to be rescued with a long ladder and my friend had to go and find help it was a miracle I had no broken bones something was looking out for me that day,I have some photos if you would like to see them but I do not know how to put any on this Blog.
    Sincerely Rosalie.

    • Oh Rosalie, that must have been terrifying! I don’t venture too far away from the road when hunting asparagus as I’m too scared of cows or wild boars, now I’ll have to keep my eye open for old wells. I’m glad your friend was there to help you get out! 🙂

  2. colonialist says:

    Obviously that hunting is classed as a blood sport! 🙂 Looks well worth the risks.
    I go hunting here for guavadillas, as blogged about recently. The only dangers in that are the occasional tree snake, or competing monkeys.

  3. Debra Kolkka says:

    We have porcini mushrooms nearby and there should be some wild asparagus soon, and there are lots of wild herbs.

  4. Hi Kate! This is a great post about wild asparagus, I think its famous in the Venetian region too! I moved from London to Italy (for love) and a job and now based in Padua. My boyfriend is from Belluno, right up at the foot of the Dolomites, where there are lots of wild mushrooms! He even bought a licence! Anyway, nice to see another lady who has moved her life across to this bellissimo paese. I write an Italian lifestyle blog called Finestrella. Have a peep for some stories and images of the area. Thanks again and I’ll be back here!
    Edie

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