ASPARAGUS! The spring veggie loved by many, or few?
We Italians love them every which way, especially found wild and wrapped up in some farm fresh eggs as a frittata. You can roast them, sauté them, put them in a pie, use in a cheese fondue. I’ve found them on a pizza, in a salad, wrapped in prosciutto, speared through a hot dog or sausage and toasted on the grill. If you want to really appreciate asparagus wild, take a look at Anne Robichaud’s article from Italian Notebook.
Asparagus with Quinoa
Saute two sliced shallots in 1 T each butter and olive oil until softened. Add a bunch of asparagus sliced on the diagonal and season as desired. Cook on lowered heat, covered, until softened, but still firm to the bite.
To serve, portion over cooked quinoa with a squeeze of lemon. Drizzle with bacon bits, or Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Asparagus and Spinach Frittata*
1 lb each spinach and fresh asparagus, washed, drained, tough ends discarded
3 T whipping cream or water
s/p to taste
¼ c Parmesan or Romano cheese
4 T olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
Cut asparagus into 1-inch lengths, cook in boiling, salted water until tender to pierce, about 3 minutes. Drain, immerse in cold water and drain again. Cook spinach in a covered pan until wilted, stirring. Drain, cool, coarsely chop. Set aside.
Beat eggs, cream, salt and pepper, cheese. Set aside.
In a large on-stick skillet, place olive oil, and garlic cloves over medium heat until just beginning to brown, do not scorch! Add spinach and asparagus, and sauté 2 minutes. Pour egg mixture over asparagus and cook until eggs begin to set. Sprinkle with cheese and reduce heat to medium-low. When almost set, place skillet under broiler until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Let frittata stand 4 minutes before loosening, and sliding onto a plate.
- Omit spinach, add 1 seeded, diced tomato and Fontina cheese instead of Parmesan.
- Use spring onions in addition to or instead of garlic, and Gruyere or Swiss cheese.
- Cut unpeeled red potatoes 1/8” thick and sauté w/green onions 6-8 minutes, covered, then uncover, brown well another 7-8 minutes. Add to asparagus/egg mixture.