Tuesday, 3 May 2011
Nothing speaks spring time to me more than the fresh flavours of tender young fresh asparagus and sweet young freshly podded peas, and here in the UK we have the best asparagus and peas in the world! I don't think anyone could argue with that fact!
Nothing beats the taste of fresh peas from the pod. As a child, I loved being given the job of podding the peas and I think I probably ate half of what I podded, much to my mother's chagrin! Am I alone in thinking that peas taste beautiful raw and fresh from the pod?? I didn't think so!!
The herbs in my garden are taking off like wild fire right now. The thyme and chives are covered with little blooms . . . the sage too has beautiful flower buds just waiting to burst out into colour. This has to be my favourite thyme of year! (every pun intended!)
Here in the UK, we like to make hay while the sun shines and we have been taking full advantage of this recent spate of sunny days, having days out together and taking in all the gorgeous springtime scenery that we can. We often take a bit of a picnic with us to share together in the sunshine.
Oftimes it is just a couple of sandwiches and some fruit, but sometimes it's a delicious frittata like this beautiful springtime offering I have thrown together here.
Tender young spears of asparagus, tasty new potatoes, sweet young English Peas, fresh thyme, chives, farm fresh free range eggs and some crumbled Stilton cheese turn this into a truly British picnic offering.
Colourful and delicious it went down a real treat on our latest sunny day outing!
A beautiful frittata, filled with all the lovely tastes of spring . . . tender young asparagus, sweet peas fresh from the pod, baby new potatoes, along with a smattering of thyme, chives and crumbled Stilton. This is British picnic food!
2 to 3 TBS olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tsp chopped fresh young thyme leaves
150g of podded spring peas, blanched for about 4 minutes and cooled (about 1 cup)
250g of baby new potatoes, peeled and sliced (about 3/4 pound)
1 bunch of asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
a knob of butter
6 large free range eggs, beaten
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
a handful of fresh chives, snipped finely with some kitchen scissors
2 ounces of good stilton cheese, crumbled
Heat 2 TBS of the olive oil in a 10 inch nonstick heavy bottomed frying pan. Add the onions, turn the heat down to low and season with a sprinkling of sea salt. Cover and allow to sweat, stirring occasionally until the onions are meltingly soft, about 15 minutes. Add the new potatoes and thyme. Cook for a further 10 to 12 minutes, covered, until the potatoes are just tender, stirring from time to time and adding the additional TBS of oil if needed. Season with some black pepper and turn up the heat. cooking and stirring the potatoes until they begin to colour. Toss in the aspagarus. Continue to cook and stir until the asparagus is crispy tender. Stir in the well drained peas. Stir about 3/4 of the chives into the eggs, season and pour this over top of the vegetables.
Preheat the grill.
Cook the frittata over mediium heat, drawing in the edges with a spatula until the base is set. When it is nicely browned on the bottom scatter the stilton cheese over top and then bang it under the grill for 2 to 3 minuttes until the frittata is set on top and starting to lightly brown. Remove from the grill and scatter the remaining chives on top. Serve warm or at room temperature, cut into wedges.
Please Note: If you arfe not fond of Stilton Cheese you may substitute a good Parmesan. Gruyere is also very good.