Tag Archives: (culture) Spanish

Recipe: Asparagus in Almond Milk

Recipe: Asparagus (Espàrrecs)

(article originally published October 2016, Phoenix, Barony of Sacred Stone)

With a Spanish Twelfth Night around the corner, I thought I would finally break out my fourteenth century Catalonia recipe book to see what marvels it contains. I discovered an excellent vegetable dish which I had the pleasure of sharing at a recent Canton of Aire Faucon potluck. The asparagus is served in a white almond sauce creating a beautiful white and green dish, a perfect match for the Barony’s heraldry.


Vogelzang, R. (translator). Santanch, J. (editor). The Book of Sent Sovi: Medieval recipes from Catalonia. Tamesis of Boydel & Brewer Ltd: Barcelona Spain. 2008.

Spanish (in particular Catalonia) recipe – Sent Sovi (mid-14th century)

Espàrrecs si vols fer, quan seran perbullits e sosengats mit-hi vin blanc e espècies comunes e un poc de bon sucre blanc.

Encara, si n’has molts espàrrecs, que en vulles fer menjar per donar en escudelles, perbull-los així com damut és dit e prem los espàrrecs, e sosenga-los així com e espinacs. Aprés hages llet d’ameslles e mit-los a coure, e coguen tant tro sien ben espressos e ben cuits. E puis fe’n escudelles, e mit pólvora de canyella. E és menjar així bé de carnal com de Quaresma. (Sent Sovi LI)

Translation – Vogelzang p.145

If you want to make asparagus, when they are boiled and fried put in white wine and common spices, a little good white sugar.

Still, if you have a lot of asparagus, that you want to make as a dish to serve in bowls, boil them as is said above and press the asparagus, and fry them just like spinach. Then take almond milk, and cook them in it, and cook them enough so that they are thickened and well cooked. Then serve them in bowls, and dust cinnamon on it. It is eaten like this on meat days as well as during Lent.


Stove Top Largish Pot with Lid Colander
Cutting Board Knife Spatula
Measuring Cup (wet)  Serving Bowls  Frying pan (optional)


Cold water (about 2 cups)
Salt (optional)
Oil or grease of your choice
1 pound of Asparagus
2 cups almond milk
Powder douce (mix of sugar, cinnamon and other sweet spices)


  1. Bring water to boil. Add salt if wanted.
  2. Trim off woody part of stem.
  3. Boil asparagus in one inch of water for about 5 minutes. Cover pot for boil.
  4. Empty pot into colander. (You can reserve the vegetable broth for another recipe if desired.)
  5. Return pot to stove or use a frying pan. Add oil and heat.
  6. Once oil is hot, fry the asparagus uncovered, stirring with spatula to prevent burning, for about 3 to 5 minutes.
  7. Add almond milk and continue to stir until the asparagus is well-cooked. About 3 to 5 minutes.
  8. Put into serving bowls and dust with powder douce.
  9. Serve forth hot.


  1. Powder douce for the “dust cinnamon” – The first half of the recipe recommends common spices and a little good white sugar. Powder douce is a period spice mix covering this option with the predominant taste and color being cinnamon. The dish is a mix of green, white, and the dust of brown when served.
  2. Using one pot for everything. I hate cleanup. This recipe requires three different stages of cooking – the initial boil, the frying stage, and finally the simmer in sauce.
  3. Sauce vs. soup – The period recipe could be interpreted as an asparagus soup or as asparagus in a sauce. I learned toward the sauce side because of the frying stage (which evaporates the excess water from the initial boil, giving the asparagus back its form) and because of the title not being something like “asparagus soup” and instead being simply asparagus.