Aspire to Asparagus
When this sceptred isle is finally expunged from the map of Europe, we can take solace in the enjoyment of our native asparagus. The season runs from 23rd April (aptly Saint George’s Day) until the 1st June and during that window of opportunity I consume it with abandon. Salads, soups (both hot and cold), quiches and stir-frys are all good vehicles for this noblest of vegetables but mostly I eat it on its own, lightly-steamed or oven-roasted, dressed with some extra virgin olive oil and perhaps a few shavings of parmesan.
As my neighbours have recently embarked on keeping chickens I shall be turning my hand to an asparagus frittata so herewith the recipe I intend to deploy:
Asparagus and Feta Frittata
8 medium-large free-range eggs
150 ml of semi-skimmed milk
400 grams of fresh green asparagus spears
10 grams of chopped mint
150 grams of drained and crumbled Feta cheese
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Trim, wash and lightly-steam the asparagus until al dente [circa 4 minutes] then ‘refresh’ them under cold water to arrest cooking.
Cut the asparagus spears into thirds giving ‘batons’ of around 4cms length.
Beat the eggs and milk together in a large bowl then add half the Feta, the mint and asparagus.
Pre-heat the grill on a medium setting whilst warming the oil in a non-stick frying pan.
Add the egg, Feta and asparagus mixture to the pan and cook on a low heat until the frittata begins to set. [Circa 10 minutes].
Sprinkle the remaining Feta over the top of the pan and place under the hot grill for 2-3 minutes until the top is golden and the fitatta has set.
Leave the frittata to rest for 3 minutes before sprinkling with another spoonful of chopped mint.
Serve in thick wedges in shallow bowls with mixed salad leaves, roasted vine tomatoes and crusty bread.
Asparagus can be tricky to pair with wine as its scents and flavours are so distinctive but unoaked Vermentino makes a good match and the verdant Sauvignon Blancs from the Central Vineyards of the Loire are failsafe partner. This month’s Pouilly-Fumé: Domaine Dominique Guyot ‘Les Loges’ 2017 would be perfect.