Sunday, June 24, 2012

Frittata with Leeks, Asparagus, and Serrano Ham

Leek, Asparagus, and Serrano Ham Frittata at Paprika Red
I've always been a fan of prosciutto and ham in general. But after having a truly wonderful meal at Harvest Vine in Seattle, where I experienced the out-of-this-world Iberico Serrano, I've since been a little obsessed with the Spanish cured pork. When Mother's Day came around, I made brunch as usual, and couldn't wait to use a little Serrano ham (not Iberico, unfortunately, but still quite tasty!) with some wonderful local asparagus and leeks.

This frittata makes a great main course for any meal, as far as I'm concerned. I've served it for both brunch and dinner on warm spring and early summer nights. Look for asparagus that's very thin, so that they will be easy to cut with a fork. This recipe easily scales up to serve 6 or 8.

Round out the meal with a side salad and some crusty bread--I've made a salad of baby arugula, radishes, thinly sliced zucchini, and Duchilly hazelnuts with a little salt, pepper, walnut oil, and sherry vinegar, but any salad greens with an oil and vinegar dressing would be a great pairing.

Springtime Frittata with Leeks, Asparagus, and Serrano Ham
Serves 3-4
1 large leek, sliced into thin half-moons, roughly 1.5 cups chopped
6 eggs, beaten
2 TB milk
8 thin stalks asparagus, cut to 5" lengths
4 slices serrano ham, cut in half
1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil for cooking

Preheat oven to 400° F.

Beat the eggs with 2 TB of milk and set aside.

In a 10" nonstick skillet, heat about 1 tsp olive oil over medium heat. Lightly salt and pepper the asparagus, and pan-roast until browned in spots and crisp-tender, about 5-7 minutes. Set aside.

In the same pan, add another bit of oil if necessary, reduce the heat to medium-low. Lightly salt and pepper the leeks, and sweat them until soft, stirring occasionally. Add the eggs, and stir very occasionally, pushing eggs from the outside in, like making an omelette. When almost firm, turn the heat off, sprinkle the top with cheddar cheese, and arrange the asparagus spears in a spoke-like fashion, radiating out from the center. Put into the oven and bake for another 3-5 minutes until cheese is melted and slightly brown. Remove from the oven, and place one-half piece of serrano, rolled or attractively bunched, between each asparagus piece. Let set up for a few minutes, cut into quarters or thirds, and serve.

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