With both kids at college, the holidays just ain’t what they used to be. There was no trick-or-treating last Halloween, no pre-Christmas gingerbread house construction, no homemade valentines, no leprechaun pinching on St. Patrick’s Day, and today, for the first time ever, there’s no Easter egg hunt.
Last year, when Easter fell at a more convenient moment, a few of Elizabeth’s college pals came over for a hunt. Although all three of them were large men who looked comical carrying the cute Easter baskets necessary for egg gathering, they were more enthusiastic about the hunt than my own kids had been in years. They tore around the yard, competitive as the Green Bay Packers, and then ate the spoils of the hunt until they were just barely pre-nauseous. This made me very happy.
This year the kids are back east and things are much less lively. I suppose I could stop whining and hide eggs for the available family members, but both Tom and Oliver (the dog) have been advised to avoid candy (for different reasons). I could stage a hunt for myself: I’m brain-challenged enough that I could hide eggs in the morning and forget whre they are by lunch.
Instead, however, I think I will pull myself together and make something eggy to eat today, like an asparagus frittata. Now all I have to hunt for is the spatula, which Oliver made off with after last night’s hamburgers.
Easter Asparagus Frittata
3 tablespoons butter
2 leeks, rinsed and chopped (white and light green parts only)
1 pound asparagus
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup grated Gruyere cheese, divided
½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
½ cup diced ham (optional)
¼ cup fresh chopped herbs (parsley and dill, basil, or chives)
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1. Preheat the broiler.
2. In a non-stick, 10-inch ovenproof skillet, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the leeks and cook until they are soft and translucent, about ten minutes.
3. Meanwhile, break off the tough ends of the asparagus and steam it in a vegetable steamer over boiling salted water until just tender, about 3-4 minutes. Set the asparagus aside to cool briefly, then cut it into 1 ½-inch pieces. When the leeks are done, add the asparagust to the pan. Add the salt and toss the vegetables together gently.
4. Beat the eggs together until blended, then mix in ½ cup of the Gruyere and ¼ cup of the Parmigiano-Reggiano, the ham, if you’re using it, and the herbs and pepper. Add the egg mixture to the skillet and reduce the heat to as low as it will go. Sprinkle the remaining cheeses on top.
5. Allow the frittata to cook until it is set on the bottom, but still quite moist on top, about ten minutes. Place the pan in the oven and broil the frittata until it is set on top and just turning golden brown, 2-3 minutes. Remove the skillet from the oven, slide the frittata on to a platter, and cut it into wedges. (Sometimes it won’t slide easily, in which case, you can just slice it in the pan and place the wedges on your platter.) Serve hot or at room temperature.