‘Asparagus inspires gentle thoughts.’
I think asparagus is the most beautiful vegetable, especially when it is fine stemmed, at once delicate and tender, but with freshly picked firmness sporting compact and violet tinted tips. I picked up two delicious bunches at the market today, which in the absence of the sun- which has been shining all over the place recently, until yesterday that is – was another pleasing reminder that it is spring.
The first bunch is for tonight. In the absence of a proper asparagus pan, I will do my usual improvisation which involves chopping off the woody bottom inch from each spear, giving the bundle a nice string belt and trying to stand them up in my narrowest deepest pan of happily boiling water with the delicate tips above the water, happy to steam away under the tin foil hat I give the pan. I have found that if I toss the woody bits I have chopped off the asparagus in the water while it’s coming to the boil alongside some scrubbed new potatoes they help to keep the bundle upright. The woody bits may not be edible but they certainly have some flavour to lend to proceedings and the potatoes not only help keep the asparagus upright but benefit from the flavours rolling around in the pan.
Did that make any sense, I’m not sure it did, maybe you have one of those cunning pans especially for asparagus in which case it doesn’t matter anyway
We will eat the asparagus and new potatoes with our fingers dipping them in melted butter sprinkling over some coarse malden sea salt, I might hard boil some eggs as well, that, with some nice bread and a bottle of Pieropan Soave (swoon), will be our supper.
But that is supper, that comes later, first is lunch.
This is lunch, yes, double asparagus for me today.
A frittata, nothing more than 6 eggs, salt, plenty of freshly ground black pepper and a good half of one of my bunches.
Simple simple to make, I just boiled the asparagus spears in my usual improvised way, about 7 minutes for these tender and willowy specimens and drained them well. Next in my trusty cast iron frittata pan I melted some butter, tossed in the asparagus and turned it around before pouring over 6 lightly beaten eggs seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Finally over a low flame I let it cook away for about 15 minutes before sliding the nearly cooked frittata onto a plate, inverting in onto another and sliding the frittata back into a newly buttered pan for another 5minutes.
Did that make sense.
I think you get the idea.
I think a dab of mustard might be nice with this, oh and a green salad and the obligatory slice of warm pizza bianca from the bakery I just happen to live above.
Oh……….. the sun just popped out and……boo….just popped back behind that grey blanket again, he is clearly teasing me, you can’t fool me you big yellow thing, I know it’s spring.