The mere presence of asparagus at the local farmer’s market transports me away from the dreary winter months, gently drifting to thoughts of spring. Asparagus are versatile, lending themselves to salads, frittate, luncheon and side dishes. Asparagus alla Milanese, although it originates in the Lombardy region of Italy is frequently served throughout the north of Italy….
La Pasquetta, literally “little Easter” is celebrated in Italy festively on Monday following the more solemn days leading up to Easter Sunday. Generally a day to pack up the leftovers, get out into the fresh spring air with friends and enjoy a relaxing day picnicking. Asparagus Frittata is just the type of dish to include in your Pasquetta lunch hamper.
Historically frittata had been served in the evening, as traditionally la cena or dinner had been the lighter meal of the day. It is often prepared quickly with ingredients one has one hand; a few eggs, some cheese, last night’s leftover vegetables or pasta, cured meat – allora….
Winter storms come and go and despite the flooding, mudslides, and traffic incidents – let’s face it we have been experiencing a serious drought here and need the rain. The driving rain plays havoc on my citrus trees, bringing to the ground lemons & oranges that often do not weather the fall. Anytime there is a bit of a break in the storm, I run out and rescue the fallen citrus. What do you do when you have an abundance of easily gathered citrus – well prepare something of course.
Escarole Pie or Pizza di Scarola always reminds me of a childhood friend’s mom, who frequently had one sitting on the counter of her kitchen in Paterson New Jersey, minus a few slices of course. Historically a Christmas Eve dish from Naples, growing up many Sicilian American family friends had a version as well. Actually, there are countless variations of this savory dish throughout Italy particularly in the regions of Puglia & Liguria.