According to the Doctrine of Signatures, more commonly known as the the Law of Similarities, if a food item resembles an a part of the body it must amplify that part of the body when ingested. Therefore, if a food looks like a privy part it will aid that which it bears a resemblance to. And indeed, many supposed aphrodisiacal foods approximate the reproductive organs, including the currently in-season phallic asparagus.
In Sheikh Nefzawi’s, The Perfumed Garden, numerous recipes mention the use of asparagus to revive fervor in a drained lover, and though the covert of this fibrous shaft lies in its shape, its chemical composition acts on the body to create a light vital feeling experienced throughout the pudenda. Asparagus acts as a diuretic and stimulates the genitourinary tract, which may be associated with the amorous effect observed when ingesting this verdant vegetable.
The sphere’s fresh, lush taste approximates to vernal, and ignites the mood altering experience of spring fever. Asparagus with stocky stems, pallid color, and a violet tip possess an exotic connotation resulting in strong aphrodisiac lore. The best thing about eating these stalks lies in its simplicity and though I give a more intricate recipe that includes the vegetable, a classic way to serve it is lightly steamed with a dollop of hot salted butter melting on top.
- 5 cups water
- 3 cups (2-inch) slices asparagus,
- 3min tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, or walnut oil
- 3 cups oyster mushrooms
- 1/3 cup finely chopped shallots (leeks work well too)
- 6 cloves garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup dry French white wine
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 tsp. oregano
- 2 cups cannelloni beans
- 1 piece of French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Bring 5 cups of water to a boil in a large skillet, and add asparagus to pan. Cover and cook for approximately 2 minutes; drain. Rinse asparagus with cold water; drain well and set aside.
Return skillet to medium-high heat. Add 2 tbsp. oil, swirling to coat the pan. Add garlic, mushrooms, and shallots; saute 8 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Add wine; cook until the liquid evaporates. Stir in the broth, oregano, and beans; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium, and cook for 10 more minutes or until the mixture begins to thicken and beans are very tender. Season with salt and black pepper.
Place French bread and butter into a food processor and pulse until coarse crumbs form. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and cheese to breadcrumbs; pulse until combined. Stir asparagus into the bean mixture; sprinkle bread-crumb mixture evenly over bean mixture. Broil 3 minutes or until crumbs are golden brown.
Serve with a glass of white wine and crusty French bread.