You practically have to eat it three meals a day when your husband brings home six pounds.
One of his coworkers’ family owns a local farm that grows asparagus, strawberries and mushrooms, Ware Farm, in Lincoln County. And he hooked us up. Actually, he brought a whole box in for everyone in the office, and only a couple people took advantage. That’s okay. More for me.
I have been patiently waiting for asparagus this year. It’s the same every spring. After a winter that seems to go on forever, I am so giddy to get something green and fresh that it feels like Christmas morning. I have been enjoying salad greens, spring kale and radishes from the farmers market, but the first asparagus marks the big beginning for fresh vegetables here in Zone 5.
When I saw this pile of asparagus, I knew I wanted to make a recipe I’d made a few years back for asparagus soup from my Jamie Oliver Jamie At Home cookbook. It is delicious, but if you only get a little bit of asparagus for the year, I really hate to puree it up in soup, when it can be enjoyed grilled or broiled with some simple salt, olive oil and garlic. No problem here. I had plenty of asparagus to do both.
So, my father-in-law knows me well. He dug up these “wild leeks” on his brother’s property they’ve been clearing. He sent them to me by the Hubs and told him “She’ll know how to use these.” We weren’t even really sure what they were. They looked like leeks, smelled like leeks, but their taste was a little stronger. I always thought “wild leeks” was another name for ramps. But these were not ramps. Since my soup recipe called for leeks, I shrugged my shoulders and just chopped them up and added them.
I’ve been eating this soup for lunch all week. It’s been raining all week here, so it’s been perfect soup weather. I think I’ll still have some left at the end of the week, and I’m sure how well this soup will freeze. I hope it doesn’t ruin it. Some soups I’ve found get really runny and watery when you thaw them after they’ve been frozen.
Last night for dinner, I did get my simple broiled asparagus. I would have grilled it, but it was pouring down the rain. Just a little drizzle of olive oil, garlic powder and some smoked salt I bought at The Filing Station when I was in New York City last fall. I love that stuff. I put it on practically everything. I used the really skinny asparagus so they would cook faster and get to my mouth faster. Simple and absolutely delish!
I had some left over asparagus after dinner, and I was thinking about what I could do with it. Besides just house it right there standing by the stove. I knew I had some egg whites in the freezer, cheese and bacon, so why not a frittata?
Frittatas are a great way to use up leftovers. I went outside and grabbed a handful of arugula from my garden to add some more “green” to it. I threw it together in less than 20 minutes, and this morning just reheated a serving with a piece of toast for a quick breakfast as I was walking out the door.
Even reheated, this frittata was amazing. The star of this dish truly is the asparagus. It’s slightly sweet, which is wonderful with the salty bacon and sharp cheddar. I may have to make another batch since I still have some asparagus left. I’ll at least share my recipe.
Spring Veg Frittata – Makes 4 servings
- 2 large eggs
- 5 egg whites
- 1/4 lb asparagus
- 4 pieces bacon, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/3 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar
- a handful of arugula or spring green of your choice
If your asparagus is raw, put it in an oven safe dish and drizzle it with a little bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Broil on high for 10 minutes, checking it a few times and shaking the pan so that it doesn’t burn. Pre-heat oven to 350. Brown the bacon in a skillet on medium heat, stirring occasionally. Remove the bacon from the skillet with a slotted spoon and set aside. Drain all of the bacon grease (save it for another recipe!) out of the skillet except for about 1 tablespoon. Tear the arugula into bit size pieces and add it to the skillet. Turn of the heat and stir well to coat it with the grease. Let it sit about a minute in the hot skillet in the grease. While the bacon is browning, beat the eggs and egg whites in a large bowl until well mixed. Add the baking powder and stir well. Chop the asparagus into bite size pieces and add to the egg mixture. Add the browned bacon and shredded cheddar. Once the arugula has wilted a bit in the bacon grease, add it to the egg mixture. Mix everything well. Pour into a greased 8×8 pan. Bake 25 minutes, or until top is golden and puffy and center is set.
This is best straight out of the oven. It will deflate a little as it cools. Can be stored in the fridge up to 5 days, but I’ll bet it doesn’t last that long.