Tudela - Navarra

There are places in Spain famous for what they grow. One of them is Tudela, located in the Navarra region, between the cities of Pamplona and Zaragoza. Because of it´s particular weather they are famous for their delicious artichokes, white asparagus and lettuces. White asparagus are famous for their delectable flavour, and if you ever got the chance to have some fresh, please do it, as there is no comparison, at all, with the canned ones. Fresh asparagus are tender but consistent and there is so much flavour in them that you hardly need any season to add. The hard part is to cook them, it is not as easy as cooking the green ones.

Asparagus are really healthy so when they are in season there is no reason not to eat them all the chances you got. This year we try a couple of batches, and so we improved the cooking method.

Advices to cook white asparagus

- Peel them all the way. Not only the bottoms, because they have some hard to cook fibers, so it`s better to get ride of them.
- Put them in a pot with cold water, until you cover them.
- Season the water with salt and sugar.
- When the water starts boiling cook 30 minutes on medium heat.
- When ready, they should have some consistency but tender enought to bite through them.
- Let them cool and eat at room temperature.
- Serve with a little of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, or some mayo, or any vinaigrette you like.

Another thing I enjoy while visiting Tudela are the - now in season - lettuce hearts, also famous.
They are tender small lettuces served almost always with anchovies and good olive oil. As you can see it´s one lettuce per person, cutted in four, and served just like that.
Lovely crunchy bites of greens, ideal for the hot days I´m spending in Tudela.

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