Spring in Britain means the baby lambs are in need of shepherding after a day of grazing...
And ramsons (a.k.a. wild garlic shoots)...
Ramsons are absolutely delicious and like the sun in Britain, go as quickly as they come. They have a smooth, mellow garlic flavor and pair nicely with all the British spring populars - like asparagus and peas. Perfect for this year's Springtime Frittata.
- 1 Tbs butter
- 6 c loosely packed, chopped ramsons (could substitute ramps)
- 1 c fresh shelled peas
- 12 -15 tender asparagus stalks, cut into 1-inch pieces
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 6 whole eggs
- 4 egg whites
- 1/2 c mascarpone cheese
Preheat broiler in oven to medium. Whisk eggs and egg whites together with salt and pepper, set aside. Melt butter in a large non-stick, oven-safe pan. Add ramsons and saute over medium-high heat. Once wilted, drain any excess liquid. Add peas and asparagus pieces. Cook for 1 minute and reduce heat. Make sure that everything is spread evenly about the pan. Pour egg mixture over top. Leave on low heat till the bottom and sides set. As this is happening, add small dollops of mascarpone to the eggs. Once the sides are set, place in the oven under the broiler till the top sets and browns gently. Remove from oven. Let sit for a few minutes and then remove from pan and serve. Can be refrigerated and served cold, but I prefer it warm.
With a great, non-stick pan (my eight-year-old All Clad non-stick, which has traveled thousands of miles and lived in many countries still does the trick). You can loosen the frittata with a flexible rubber spatula and slip it out of the pan. Or you could flip it out, but I like to see the bits of mascarpone. You could also use a mild cheddar, but I wouldn't use a stronger cheese as it will over power the delicate flavors of the springtime greens.
And, on those cold rainy spring days, sometimes you need a treat with a little zest that puts a zing in your step. Like lemon poppy seed cake...
- 6 oz unsalted butter, room temp
- 2/3 c sugar, divided equally into two parts
- 4 eggs separated
- 2/3 c yogurt (full-fat) plain or lemon flavored
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbs lemon juice
- 1 c AP flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/3 c poppy seeds
- zest of 3 lemons
Zest three lemons and juice one to get 2 Tbs lemon juice. Sift together drys and add poppy seeds and lemon zest - set aside. Separate eggs and leave whites aside. Combine the yolks in a different bowl with the yogurt, vanilla extract, and lemon juice - set aside. Beat or paddle the butter with half (1/3 c) of the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat on low and alternate adding the yolk mixture and the drys mixture. Once combined, do not over beat - set aside. Clean your beaters or change to a whisk attachment on your KitchenAid (this is when having an extra bowl makes life so much easier!). Beat egg whites to medium peaks, sprinkling in the remaining sugar once the eggs get really frothy. Sacrifice some of the whipped whites into the yolk/drys mixture to lighten it. Then fold in the rest. Bake at 350F till cooked through and dark golden brown. I made 2 small rounds in paper molds (25-30min), but this will make one 9-inch cake (40-45min).
This cake must sit for a day. Once its cooled wrap it up in plastic and set aside in the fridge. Don't look at it or attempt to eat it for 24 hours. Not sure what it is but a good cake out of the oven turns into something amazing if you wait. You can have it plain or with a little bit of vanilla buttercream. I just beat room temp butter till its pale and then sprinkle powdered sugar (to taste) and a bit of vanilla bean and splash of vanilla extract. To frost - trim any dome off the top. Cut the top half off the cake. Frost the middle, put the top half back on, and frost the top and sides.