A cup of coffee and reading The Berkshire Eagle on a Saturday morning is a perfect segue to the weekend; but, don't linger too long — grab the second cup of coffee to go and head out to one of the local farmers markets while the day is young!
The market's offerings are seasonal; the only way to enjoy the freshest, most flavorful produce. Currently, rhubarb, fresh asparagus and greens are my picks. Flower, herb and vegetable plants, hearty breads, eggs, cheeses, coffee, organic meats, wines, hand-crafted items and more shared the stage with these early crops.
One of my favorite dishes to cook after a trip to the farmers market is a frittata — an Italian egg dish best described as an omelet crossed with a crustless quiche. They can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner and served warm, room temperature or cold.
The basic idea is that eggs are beaten with a bit of milk or cream, cooked vegetables, meats, cheeses, herbs are added and the whole thing is cooked in an oven proof skillet on top of the stove to start and finished in the oven.
My recent purchase of some perfect, plump asparagus spears prompts me to offer this recipe:
Smoked salmon, asparagus and feta frittata.
In a bowl, whisk together: 8 large eggs, 1/3 cup whole milk, 1/2 & 1/2 or cream, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 1/4 cup minced chives, dill, parsley or scallions or a combination of any
Using a 10-inch non-stick, oven-proof skillet, or, a well-seasoned cast-iron pan, heat: 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat swirling to coat pan.
Add: 1/2 cup onions and cook until softened.
Add: 2 cups cooked asparagus, sliced into 1/2" pieces, and 4 oz. chopped smoked salmon
Pour egg mixture over all, making sure salmon and asparagus are evenly distributed by gentle stirring.
Sprinkle with: 3 or 4 oz. crumbled feta cheese
Cook undisturbed until sides just start to firm up, about five minutes. Finish cooking in a 350-degree oven until just set on top, about 15 minutes. The frittata should slide right out of the pan onto a serving plate. A lightly dressed mesclun salad and fresh bread make a meal and a glass of wine would make a delightful meal!
Robin Anish is a former caterer who lives in Lenox, where she continues to cater to her enthusiasm for cooking. She can be contacted via The Berkshire Eagle at 75 South Church St., Pittsfield MA 01201.