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Secrets of Seasonal Croatian Cuisine: Wild Asparagus

Nothing symbolises Spring on a Dubrovnik dinner plate than the sight of a seasonal local delicacy – wild asparagus! We guarantee you have never sourced asparagus back home the way Croatians do it.

The selection on the Sun Gardens Dubrovnik menu changes throughout the year, mainly because our chefs believe in one thing absolutely – the freshness of ingredients. Coming from bigger international cities, many of our guests are used to the 24/7 supermarket, where a tomato is available 12 months a year, but things are a little different in Croatia. For here, many ingredients are only available in season, and that season can be very short. Freshness, taste and high quality are guaranteed, but in order to experience certain dishes, you have to be there during the season, and nowhere is that more true than the season of…

Wild asparagus.

Forget everything you have learned about asparagus back home. The wild asparagus of Croatia is a totally different variety, much thinner, darker, more bitter and packed with flavour. And do not bother looking in those supermarkets for a bunch of fresh wild asparagus, because it cannot be bought there, only on certain green markets. Or better still, become a local for a day and embark on a fun cultural experience you will not forget – asparagus hunting!

Asparagus grows in the wild in Croatia, primarily in forests and undergrowth, and it has long been a local custom for locals to disappear into the wilds of nature in search of this gourmet treasure. It is a fun family event, searching through the undergrowth for asparagus, and locals in the know can often get a sizable haul.

So how to prepare this Croatian wonder, and what are the most popular dishes? Without doubt the most popular dish is egg and wild asparagus salad, which is easy to make. Boil the asparagus in salt water, then cover in vinegar and olive oil (with salt and pepper to taste), and add slices boiled egg. Other delicious recipes include asparagus risotto, and 'fritata', a wild asparagus omelette.

Not here for wild asparagus season? Do not worry, there is bound to be something equally tasty in season during your visit – just ask at reception for the best recommendations.

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