When Zoë was a child she awoke on Easter morning to find a wicker basket full of chocolate bunnies, foil-wrapped chocolate eggs and jelly beans. Now for our spring celebration, Bud makes small paper baskets out of discarded prints, one for each guest at Easter lunch. Over the years we have saved them to hang in our china cupboard, a reminder of the artists who made the prints and the cheerful call of spring.
This year he used discards of Kara Maria’s new print for the baskets I filled with chocolate and sour jellies. Zoë, my sister Susan, Charles, Corey, Liz and new addition, Lilikoi, joined us for lunch on Sunday. This was three-month-old Lilikoi’s first outing for a party. And our first in-person sight of our sweet grand-niece.
I set the table with a tablecloth, linen napkins and my mom’s china, a pattern of gold leaves encircling the plates. For lunch, we ate a smoked salmon tart, an asparagus frittata, a kale, beet and carrot salad from Zoë, and for dessert, homemade pound cake and strawberries from Susan. I wrote about the tart here – https://wordpress.com/post/howilearnedtocookanartistslife.blog/1985
The frittata recipe is from The Smitten Kitchen. I particularly like this method of preparing the asparagus. Enough for 2 – 3. For our Easter lunch I doubled the recipe and used a bigger skillet.
Wash 1/4 pound or so of asparagus, thick stalks work best. No need to snap off the ends. Lay each stalk on a cutting board and shave into ribbons with a vegetable peeler, starting from the tough end. Discard tough stalks. Beat together 4 large eggs, a tablespoon of cream or half-and-half, a good pinch of salt and fresh pepper. Add a thinly sliced green onion. (I didn’t have these so add chopped dill. I prefer the onion.) Stir the asparagus into the eggs, coating each strand.
Heat an 8-inch skillet over medium heat and add a tablespoon of olive oil, swishing the oil up the sides. Add the egg mixture and nudge the asparagus to spread out evenly. Cook gently for about 5 minutes until edges are set but center is loose. Top with crumbles of goat cheese (1 – 2 ounces) and transfer skillet to the broiler. Cook until top is set, 1 – 3 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes, then cut into wedges. Serve warm or at room temperature.
The wild plum trees along Apple Valley Road are breaking out in fragrant blossom. Each year I await this intoxicating bloom to breath in the fleeting aroma and store for a year’s worth of scent memory. Enjoy the new growth and promise of spring.