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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring Frittata, Spring Arugula Salad & Basil Panna Cotta with Strawberry gelee

Is there a time of the year that is any better than spring?  Personally, it is my favorite season and there are so many reasons why.

First, spring means that I can break out my cute dresses and strap on some adorable sandels.  I'm saying "see you later" to my winter coat and donning my favorite black satin spring jacket (seriously, it's so adorable, I'm sad I can only wear it in the in between weather times!).  Now that I'm a non-grad student type person and have all this weekend free time, I live in dresses as soon as the weather agrees with it!

Next, tulips.  Tulips are the most awesome flower, ever.  I will carry tulips down the aisle whenever I get around the getting married.  I have a vase of pink and yellow tulips sitting on the table next to me at this very moment.  Tulips are so much more amazing that roses because they have a little personality.  I think it looks like they are sighing.  When I see my first few tulips of spring, I'm a happy banana.

Finally, the farmers market.  I fell in love with the idea of a weekend market during my time in Madison, WI.  The market on the capitol square rivals all other markets I've been to, including all the ones I've stopped by in NYC.  I miss the Dane Country farmers market, you could do all of your grocery shopping there.  While our local one isn't quite so large, the produce is fresh and local.  It's also a ten minutes walk away.  While the pickings are scarce right now, soon natures bounty will start to overflow the farm stands.

To celebrate spring, Frigidaire was kind enough to sponsor a series of spring posts via Foodbuzz. In keeping with the fresh and local theme, I headed to the farmers market and picked up everything that I could from the stands (the rest was filled in by our local Whole Foods). Farm fresh eggs with crisp spring asparagus and herbs. Sweet raspberries and peppery arugula. Local cream, flavored with bright green basil and finished off with sweet-tart strawberries. This meal gets me ready for spring and looking forward to the bounty of the farmers market.

This post was sponsored by Frigidaire. When you check out Suzanne Goin's springtime recipes at, Frigidaire will donate $1 to Save the Children's U.S. programs. Plus, you'll be entered for a chance to win the new Frigidaire Range with SymmetryTM Double Ovens – featuring two large ovens (that can each fit up to a 28 pound turkey!), providing the flexibility to cook multiple dishes at the same time at different temperatures, so you can get more on the table at the same time.

One Year Ago: Buffalo Sponge Candy (Has it already been a year!??!!)

Spring Frittata
A Wilde original

2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 bulb fennel, fronds and core removed, thinly sliced
1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup vegetable stock
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 tbsp fresh thyme, leaves stripped from the stems
1/2 tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped
8 eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 F.  Coat 4 1 1/2 cup ramekins with cooking spray.

In a large skillet, heat butter and olive oil over medium heat.  Add fennel and saute for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add asparagus and vegetable stock, cover with a lid for 4 minutes.  Remove lid and allow to cook until liquid has been almost completely reduced.  Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes

In a large bowl, whisk together herbs, eggs, milk, salt and pepper.  Add sauteed vegetables and stir.

Add just over 1 cup of the egg mixture to each ramekin.  Place all four ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes.  Serve with a sprinkling of freshly cracked black pepper.

Spring Arugula Salad
A Wilde Original

4 cups baby arugula
1 pint rasbperries
1/4 cup candied walnuts

1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tbsp honey
juice from 1 lemon
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 cup extra virgin olive oil

In a large bowl, toss together arugula, raspberries and walnuts.  In a small bowl, whisk together first 6 ingredients for the dressing.  Slowly drizzle in olive oil and whisk.  When ready to serve the salad, pour on some dressing.

Basil Panna Cotta with Strawberry gelee
A Wilde Original

At first I was a little unsure of this dessert.  Tasting the panna cotta by itself, it was strange, basily.  Once I had a spoonful of the panna cotta with the strawberry gelee, everything was right with the world.  The two flavors balance out perfectly and I ate the entire portion.
Basil Panna Cotta

1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, halved & seeds scraped
1/4 cup basil leaves
1 1/2 tsp powdered gelatin

Strawberry Gelee

1 cup strawberries, hulled
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 tsp powdered gelatin

In a small saucepan, heat whole milk, heavy cream, sugar, vanilla bean and basil leaves over medium-low heat.  Bring to just below a simmer and cook for 4 minutes.  Remove from the heat and allow to steep for 20 minutes.  Strain out vanilla bean and basil leaves.  If the mixture has cooled considerably, return to the saucepan and warm to just below simmering.  Add gelatin and whisk until dissolved.  Pour 1/2 cup into small serving cups and cover.  Place in the fridge and allow to set for at least 4 hours.

Puree strawberries in your favorite blending apparatus (blender, food processor, magic bullet).  Strain the seeds out of the liquid.  Add sugar, water and lemon juice.  Warm for 30 seconds in the microwave then add gelatin.  Whisk to combine.  Add 1/4 cup of the strawberry mixture to the top of the set panna cotta.  Place back in the fridge and let set for another hour.

Unmold and serve chilled.
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