I am so. over. winter. No really, I am. This from someone who embraces each season, relishing the changes in the landscape, giddy over puffy, white clouds and bright blue skies as well as lover of rain clouds, fall leaves and the first snow . . . all within reason. But move it along, Mother Nature, let’s move it along already.
I’m ready for spring peas, mint, asparagus and strawberries; I’m ready for fava beans, ramps and mushrooms and I’m ready for pulled-from-the-garden crispy radishes, thinly sliced, scattered across a buttered baguette. I look outside my windows and see glimmers of hope – spring bulbs pushing their noses up through the earth; soon they’ll be reaching for the sun and waving, ‘Look over here, look at me – see my shocking colors of orange, red and yellow? I’m here to remind you that another season has finally arrived!’ I’m ready for Farmer’s markets, for spring cocktails and entertaining; I’m ready to pack away my sweaters, coats and boots and slip my toes into flip flops and open the sunroof in the car. I’m ready for Spring.
I daydream about uncovering the deck furniture and lounging on the bright red chaise, sipping a Pimm’s Cup and watching the birds at the feeders – and I cannot wait to turn over that first spade of dirt in a new garden bed I’m planning – the smell of brown-black Spring dirt is heady as I grip the wooden handle of my grandmother’s old trowel. Gardening centers me, I relish the solitude in pulling weeds, spreading mulch, watching the bullfrog at the edge of the pond and talking to the Koi as they break the surface of the water to gobble pellets of food.
This year we add beekeeping to our list of garden duties. The Professor and I took a beginning beekeeping class a couple of weeks ago and we’ll pick up our bees at the end of May – we cannot wait to turn them loose in our garden; they’ll have apple, peach, cherry and pear trees to help pollinate as well as herbs and vegetables to choose from. I’ll admit to being nervous prior to taking the class and I couldn’t imagine that talking about bees could take an entire day – but I was wrong. Bees are incredibly fascinating and we cannot wait to get started – we’ll be sharing our adventures here so stay tuned!
In the meantime, Spring is still a few months away here in the Midwest with nary a local pea, mint or strawberry in sight, I can still enjoy somewhat lighter fare with this fritatta: sugary sweet potatoes paired with spicy chorizo and buttery Castelvetrano olives and just a smidgen of Manchego cheese . . . summer in Spain anyone?
SWEET POTATO FRITTATA W/CHORIZO & OLIVES
Serves 6 with side salad
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- ¼ cup scallions, chopped
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, par-baked, cooled and chopped (3-5 minutes in the microwave works great)
- 2 links chorizo, chopped (approximately 1 cup)
- ½ cup Castelvetrano olives, pitted
- 8 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup Manchego cheese
- salt/fresh ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- In large, seasoned, 10-inch cast-iron skillet (can use a non-stick pan in lieu of seasoned cast iron), heat oil and butter over medium heat
- Add scallions and sauté until soften – about 3 minutes; add chopped sweet potatoes and sauté until soften but not so soft they’re mushy
- Whisk together eggs, milk and salt and pepper
- Pour eggs over scallions and sweet potatoes, scatter chorizo and olives across the top and give it a little stir along the edges to allow egg from the top to seep towards the bottom
- Reduce heat to low and cook on top of the stove for 5 minutes; sprinkle cheese on top and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until frittata is set and golden