What a week, lovely hot, calm weather to begin, then rain, and snow to finish. The big question is...will there or won't there be Asparagus? Just found out late yesterday we will be blessed with a little asparagus, be early as there isn't alot. As i have mentioned this time of year can be a little tricky as some of our vendors are away to allow for their new-season produce to grow. You will probably notice that the variety of produce is a little on the thin side but it won't be too much longer before all that will change. Rhubarb is back which is always a welcome addition, great in cakes, muffins, slices and tarts and don't forget about making some jars of rhubarb jams, sauces and relishes it also partners well with apples.
Watercress is still growing thick and fast. Raddishes have been popping up at the odd stall which are delicous tossed through a salad but try them grated and mixed through some Greek yoghurt and garlic to make a fabulously pink dip.
This weeks menu is all about using a bit of this and bit of that. Just remember if the asparagus is not ready then change it for what is!
|Edmonds Fresh Fish|
ASPARAGUS AND THYME FRITTATA
Frittata is quiet simply an Italian omelette. Quick to prepare and great for lunch or as a light dinner. The secret of a good frittata is to make them thinner rather than thicker and to slightly undercook it!
10 spears asparagus, ends snapped off
4 large eggs
1 tsp fresh marjoram leaves roughly chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 Tbsp butter
50g grated parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp crème fraiche
Preheat oven to 200C
Break the eggs in a bowl and lightly beat, season with salt and pepper.
Heat 2 tablespoon of oil in a large oven-proof frypan 18- 20cm. Add the asparagus and cook over a moderate heat until the asparagus starts to lightly colour, sprinkle over half the marjoram and a light sprinkle of salt and pepper. Remove the asparagus and set aside.
Wipe out the pan with a paper towel and bring back to a moderate-high heat with 2 tablespoons olive oil and the butter, tilting the pan to cover the surface. When the butter starts to froth add the egg mixture and almost immediately add the crème fraiche. Push the mixture carefully from the outside of the pan into the centre using a wooden spoon. When you see the frittata beginning to set, leave it alone so it forms a base. Arrange the asparagus, remaining marjoram, parmesan and a sprinkle of seasoning. Drizzle over a little olive oil and place in the preheated oven for a minute or two.
Remove from the oven. A good frittata must have a crisp edge and slightly runny in the centre.
Loosen the frittata from the pan with a spatula and serve warm with a little more parmesan if desired.
SIMPLE EVERYDAY SALAD
To make a great salad need not be difficult but it does require very fresh and crunchy ingredients and combing all the ingredients at the last minute so every component is coated in the dressing.
|PLANTS FOR SALE
4-6 handfuls washed and dried salad leaves
Dressing: 1 tsp sherry, red wine or cider vinegar
1 Tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil
A pinch sea salt
Freshly ground pepper.
Add all the ingredients for the dressing together in a small bowl, stir to combine and taste for correct balance. Adjust if necessary.
Put the lettuce leaves in to a large bowl, drizzle over the dressing and toss gently to combine. Ensure all the leaves are lightly coated in the dressing as this is what will make the difference between an average salad and a great salad.
Things you might like to add to your salads
Crumbled feta, blue cheese or parmesan
Spring onions, red onions sliced thinly
Toasted seeds or nuts
Crispy bacon bits
HERB AND BACON SCONES
These are great on their own or try them alongside a bowl of soup.
Makes 8 medium size scones
1 Tbsp baking powder
Pinch fine salt
80 ml buttermilk or yoghurt
½ cup (approx) milk
Handful fresh herbs (basil, parsley, thyme, rosemary or chives)
100g bacon, cut small and cooked in a pan until crispy (bacon ends work a treat)
Preheat oven to 200C
In a large bowl add the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir to combine.
Rub in the butter with your finger-tips until your mix resembles coarse breadcrumbs
Add the herbs and bacon bits and mix to combine.
Using a bread and butter knife add the buttermilk or yoghurt and ½ the milk. Cut through the mixture with your knife add more milk if your mixture looks dry. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured bench, lightly knead the dough so it just forms together. Flatten it slightly and mould it into a rectangle about 15-20cm long and 10 cm wide. Cut into 8 scones either with a round cutter or cut into 8 even sized pieces.
Place onto a baking tray and bake for 15 -20 minutes. Remove from oven when golden and fluffy wrap in a clean tea-towel and cool on a wire rack.
MY TIPS FOR LIGHT AND FLUFFY SCONES
The biggest tip for making any type of scone is not to over work the dough. The less you handle it the better!
Use up old (sour) milk or cream as it works the same as buttermilk or yoghurt. If you don’t have buttermilk or yoghurt at home then by all means use milk.
If using cheese you can omit the butter as a lot of fat seeps out of the cheese.
- When moulding ready for cutting, keep your dough on the thick side as you will get higher and more impressive scones.
I cannot take the credit for these wonderful pancakes as it is a recipe from Stephanie Alexander. It is a great way to use up excess apples; they are great served for dessert or brunch. I like to serve them with a little Greek yoghurt and honey or a generous drizzle of maple syrup.
2 crisp apples, unpeeled, quartered and cored
1 Tbsp caster sugar
Juice of ½ lemon
100g plain flour
A pinch of salt
¼ tsp baking soda
2 eggs (room temperature)
180ml milk or buttemilk
40g butter, melted and cooled, plus extra for greasing
Grate the apple and put into a bowl and cover with glad wrap.
Sift the flour, salt and baking soda into a mixing bowl. In another bowl whisk the egg yolks with the buttermilk or milk and melted butter. Make a well in the flour mixture then pour in the egg mix. Whisk to form a smooth batter. Stir in the apple mixture.
Whisk the egg whites to form snowy peaks, then fold into the batter.
Brush a large heavy-based pan with a little butter. Drop small ladleful’s of batter into the pan. They will spread a little. Wait until you see bubbles appearing on the uncooked side (about 1 minutes) before flipping the pancakes. Cook for another 1-2 minutes. Serve at once.
|Freddy, Evy and Olllie
quick snack of dumpings
ALISON WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE FOLLOWING VENDORS
KAKANUI PRODUCE – basil, parsley and lettuce
WAITAKI BACON AND HAM – bacon ends
ADROSS FARM – asparagus
ROSEDALE ORCHARDS - apples