Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Baked Parmesan Asparagus Polenta Sausage Frittata

The best situation for me during frantic springtime is if I could have both a cook and gardener. Since that appealing pair is not to be seen anywhere chez nous, what's the next best thing? A frittata brimming with asparagus fresh from our potager, that's what. Though it needs attention for about twenty minutes during batter preparation, once in the oven, it thrives for a half hour on its own, browning and puffing up itself with such prettiness that after I return from topping up the birdbaths and bringing in the tomato seedlings for the night, I hesitate before eating...for about one second.

Though some regard a frittata as a quiche sans crust, my take is that it more like scrambled eggs without the scrambling. Since a top tip for making truly fantastic scrambled eggs is not to add milk or water, I applied that wisdom to this unscrambled version. The polenta cheerfully amplifies the sunny yellow of the eggs, but more importantly it imparts the most delectable creaminess. What we have here are eggs with a built-in porridge perfumed with asparagus, permeated with succulent sausage, and embellished with Parmesan.

makes 4 ample servings
  • Asparagus, blanched, sliced in 2 inch/5 cm pieces, four fluid oz/120 ml (about 4-5 spears)
  • Sausage, Toulouse or Italian sweet, cooked, blotted, crumbled, 10 fluid oz/300 ml (two 6 inch/15 cm long sausages, any extra can be frozen for the next time!)
  • Polenta, fine, quick-cooking, 2 fluid oz/60 ml
  • Eggs, 6
  • Parmesan, freshly grated, 4 fluid oz/120 ml
  • Salt to taste (I used about 1/2 tsp)
  • Olive oil, 1/2 to 1 tsp, for oiling the baking dish

To keep asparagus fresh for about four days in the fridge, wrap the ends with wet paper toweling and put in a sealed plastic bag.

The last of our oh-so-tasty harvest!

Preheat to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C. Whisk eggs and polenta together for several minutes to get a thick batter.

Add sausage, asparagus, salt, and Parmesan. Stir well.

Pour into a well-oiled baking pan. If desired, some of the asparagus can be re-arranged into a pleasing pattern.

Bake for around twenty-five to thirty minutes until it's nicely browned. Test by pressing the center which should be firm. Slice into portions.

Its fragrant, creamy glory is best when served hot from the oven. When cold, the flavour does stand up, but the texture is heavier. When reheated by steaming, it gets a more bread pudding feel. Additionally, it freezes fairly well.

Porridge for adults!

À la prochaine!

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