The downward spiral into summer has me reminiscing with nostalgic fondness for winter’s vegetable bounty – especially foraged finds like veldkool. Referred to as wild asparagus, veldkool (Trachyandra Ciliata) comes into season during the rainy West Coast winter, sending out succulent buds that can be harvested and enjoyed in soups, stews or simply sautéed in garlicky butter.
Here I celebrate this distinctly West Coast ingredient in two simple recipes using similar methods – veldkool sautéed in bokkom butter and steamed veldkool with soft-boiled dippy eggs. More veldkool recipes can be found in my cookbook West Coast Wander.
Commonly found at farmer’s markets from Hopefield to Elands Bay, veldkool comes into season from July to early September each year. The tender green shoots are best picked before the plant begins to flower, and are lightly sautéed in butter flavoured with grated bokkom and garlic. Use shaved asparagus if veldkool can’t be found. Fortunately I always seem to find an abundance of the stuff on my friend Arend‘s farm between Redelinghuys and Aurora – that is, unless Fillet the ox gets to it first!
Veldkool with Bokkom Butter
Prep time: 5 mins /Cook time: 5 minutes /Serves: 2
- 200g veldkool or asparagus shoots
- 125g butter
- Half a bokkom fillet, finely grated
- A clove of garlic, crushed
- Black pepper
In a hot pan, melt the butter and stir through the grated bokkom. Sauté the veldkool for about a minute until al dente then add in the garlic and fry for a further minute. Remove the pan from the heat and squeeze over the juice of half a lemon and add a crack of black pepper. Serve as a side dish to grilled fish.
Veldkool with Soft-boiled Egg
Prep time: 10 mins /Cook time: 5 minutes /Serves: 4
- 4 extra large organic eggs, at room temperature
- 40ml softened butter
- 10ml grated bokkom
- Black pepper
- 10 stems of veldkool, trimmed
Combine the bokkom with the butter and add a crack of pepper. Set a small saucepan of water to boil and prick the eggs (this prevents them from cracking while boiling). Once the water is boiling, lower in the eggs and set a timer for exactly 4.5 minutes. Steam the veldkool until al dente and spread the stems liberally with bokkom butter. Once the eggs are done, slice off the tops and serve them in eggcups with the toast. A dash of hot sauce doesn’t go amiss either. Just be sure to watch out for any wayward pugs.