Moreidlethoughts Weblog

humour,art,gardens, books and whatever idle thoughts float through my mind (it's a very draughty mind.)



Yesterday, I rather fancied some steamed asparagus for lunch. With ham or salmon, it makes a nice Saturday lunch, especially with a quaffable Chablis.
Alas! Three supermarkets came up blank. We did not go hungry though. Smoked tuna and salad, with crusty garlic bread, satisfied us.
Spare a thought, then, for villagers in  Cyprus, as reported in Reuters “Oddly Enough” column:

NICOSIA (Reuters) – U.N. peacekeepers have upset traditional wild asparagus harvesters on the ethnically divided island of Cyprus by preventing them from entering a buffer zone to gather the tasty shoots.

U.N. soldiers, restricting access to the buffer zone which splits the island from east to west after Cyprus was divided in a Turkish invasion in 1974 triggered by a Greek-inspired coup, say they are only doing their job, but residents are livid.

“This is unacceptable behavior and I have demanded that action is taken,” said Nicos Kotziambashis, leader of the Greek Cypriot village of Mammari which has been particularly hit by the U.N. ban. “The situation is explosive.”

“It is not something we particularly like to do but unfortunately if the asparagus is found in the buffer zone the peacekeepers have to do their job, which is to regulate access to that part of the territory,” a U.N. spokesman told Reuters.

Plentiful rains ensured a bumper crop of “aggrelia” this year exacerbating the standoff between soldiers and the army of locals who flock to pick asparagus, which tied in green and red burgundy bunches, sells for up to four euros at local markets.

Asparagus harvesting has never been for the faint-hearted with pickers crawling into dense thorn bushes to pick the delicate shoots from the undergrowth.

(Reporting by Michele Kambas)

It made me grateful that my argument is with grocers, not soldiers. It also made me think of this:

Roasted Asparagus With Prosciutto and Pine Nuts

This serves two hungry people or up to four dainty nibblers. Adjust accordingly (as with any recipe I give you!)

2 bunches of asparagus

3 tbsps extra virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic,finely chopped. (2 cloves if it’s that miserable, small garlic!)

sea salt and fresh black pepper

pasta of choice; I like small penne or macaroni

prosciutto, if available. If not, as close as you can get; I’ve cooked this with very thin strips of ham and, once, with thin-sliced bacon.

2 tbsps toasted pine nuts

parmesan cheese 

Put the asparagus, cut into 5cms (2″ ) strips, garlic and oil in a shallow oven dish, stirring to coat the asparagus. Roast in hot oven about 10 minutes, or until asparagus is soft. In my oven, that’s about 200 deg.C. Probably 400F, but you know your own oven.

While this is roasting, cook the pasta as per packet instructions. When cooked, drain, add a little sea salt, generous grind of fresh black pepper and combine with the prosciutto, asparagus and toasted pine nuts. Top the whole delicious thing with grated Parmesan cheese. That’s cheese grated right now, as you need it. Not that ghastly stuff that sweats in a plastic bag, OK?

Accompanied, of course, by your beverage of choice. A dry white is hard to beat! 😉


web photo from bbc.


A short post. There are reasons for this, not least being my enforced upgrade of the housekeeping. Ants, presumably driven by rain to find a dry home, decided to colonise my linen closet. I did not see things their way. I think I may have won the battle…


Author: dinahmow

A New Zealander, currently living in tropical Queensland,Australia (with 2 cats and one Main Man).Old enough to remember George VI, white tennis balls and life-before-television.You want more? Read the blog!

7 thoughts on “EATING WEEDS

  1. Mmmmmm – I love pinenuts with almost anything. (and laughable article re: explosive state of wild asparagus gathering!)


  2. I thought of growing asparagus once, but started to read up on it and you have to dig trenches and it takes long to grow and the whole thing may be pretty iffy here on the west coast.

    I made some roasted asparagus with a bit of pesto last week, but your recipe seems much better.


  3. tara…ever tried pine nuts with pecans in a green salad? And, yes, scrambling through thorns and having to face guns…I think john West does asparagus!

    ellen…that’s the traditional way, but it doesn’t have to be so time-consuming.


  4. I don’t think UN Forces would have any hope of stopping the Italians from harvesting wild asparagus.

    Ants?!!!! Sketch them! Maybe I’ll sketch them because I’m seriously lacking inspiration for the first page of ‘that’ sketchbook.


  5. robyn…yes, it would take something of cataclysmic proportion to keep an Italian from his favoured edibles. And sure- sketch the ants. Would you like me to send models? (I’d started with frogs-oops!)


  6. All this sounds simply delicious. I love asparagus and I will try this recepie. Good luck with the ants. We get them every year. Diazanon around the outside perimeter of the house helps.


  7. kate…I think the ants and I have signed-off on a truce. And I don’t like spraying nasty stuff. Bad for too many good things as well as the target. I admit I did resort to squirting the shelves with a low-grade insecticide and just kept wiping, wiping,wiping til they’d gone.Then washed all surfaces with bleach in water.Even so, I needed to use my ventilator after being stuck in the confined space. 🙂


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