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Recipe for Mini frittatas with asparagus and samphire
12:54pm Saturday 12th May 2012 in Too Many Cooks
LUCY POTTER relishes the arrival of the asparagus season.
The long-awaited season for British asparagus is devastatingly short but oh so sweet while it lasts. So, whatever the weather, I think it’s pretty much essential to make the most of it while we can.
Classically accompanied with luxurious hollandaise sauce, asparagus works perfectly with eggs in all their various guises. For a special brunch, try wrapping blanched spears in smoked salmon and dipping in soft-boiled egg like posh soldiers.
In this frittata recipe, I pair asparagus with its lesser known cousin – samphire, or ‘poor man’s asparagus’. With its saline sea-taste, samphire is great with all fish and seafood, but also works really well with eggs.
While deep frittata cakes are brilliant for large numbers, they can be tricky to cook for one. Unless you have a very small saucepan, a chef’s ring is a nifty way of making sure the eggs don’t spread out too thin. It also looks really professional on the plate – great for a fancy dinner party starter. If you’re feeding a crowd, simply use a deep non-stick pan then cut into wedges to serve.
Mini frittatas with asparagus and samphire
Ingredients: (per person)
2 large eggs
2 spring onions – trimmed and finely sliced
1 garlic clove – finely sliced
2 or 3 asparagus spears – chopped into 2cm pieces
1 serving spoonful of samphire
1 dsp defrosted garden peas (optional)
Zest and juice of half a lemon
1 dsp finely grated pecorino cheese
Sea salt and black pepper
1 chef’s ring (about 10cm diameter by 5cm height)
Pre-heat an overhead grill to high.
Put a non-stick pan on a low heat and, if using, place a metal chef’s ring in the centre. Drizzle in olive oil to coat the base, add the garlic and soften for 2-3 minutes. Add half the spring onion and lemon zest. Cook gently for another 2 minutes.
Beat the eggs with a pinch of salt and plenty of black pepper (be careful not to over-season as the samphire is quite salty). Carefully pour the mixture into the ring or saucepan, and stir to distribute the spring onions and garlic. Cook very slowly, stirring occasionally to pull the cooked egg up from the base.
Meanwhile, blanch the asparagus and samphire in boiling water for one minute. Drain and refresh with cold water to prevent overcooking and preserve the colour.
When the egg is half-cooked, evenly distribute the blanched veg, peas (if using) and remaining spring onions throughout the frittata.
Scatter cheese over the top, then place under the grill for around one minute, or until the egg is just set and the top lightly golden.
Transfer the frittata to a plate, then run around the edge with a knife and slide the chef’s ring off the top. Grind over lots of black pepper and drizzle with olive oil.
Serve with crusty bread and a handful of green salad leaves like pea tops or watercress, dressed simply with olive oil and lemon juice.