June 2, 2008
It's Rhubarb and Asparagus Season
Usually locally grown rhubarb and asparagus are two of the earliest foods available, not counting fiddleheads and parsnips of course. While rhubarb recipes often call for copious amounts of sugar, plain steamed asparagus is a delight. And of course there are much fancier dishes to try with asparagus. Asparagus is a pretty decent source of vitamins A, B, and C, as well as having no fat or sodium. And a serving is only a half dozen spears.
I've been using some of our fresh asparagus in frittatas, a fancy name for a dish that's essentially baked scrambled eggs, at least the way I make it. I'm not going to give you an exact-amounts recipe because... well, I don't think I could!
Oven-Baked Asparagus Frittata Heat a very small amount of olive oil in a large frypan and saute a mixture of asparagus that's been cut into small pieces, some chopped onion, a bit of fresh garlic, mushrooms if you want or any other chopped or shredded veggie you want to try. Saute a few minutes or until veggies are softened. Spread in a 9x9" baking pan (I use glass) and then pour over that a mixture of 6 beaten eggs mixed with a tad of melted butter (or use olive oil), about a 1/4 cup milk, 1/2 c grated cheese of whatever type you have on hand or better still a mix, some basil, thyme, and a sprinkle of parsley. Bake at 350 are 20 minutes or until eggs are set. I used some fresh-grated parmesan cheese on this with a bit of fontina and that was really delicious.
Farmer's markets and roadside stands are open for the season and local produce is your best buy. Don't forget to pick up a little extra to put in the freezer or can for next winter.