DANDELION BUTTER AND FRITTATA OF THE THINGS WINTER LEFT BEHIND.
It has been a while since I have been upstate. Work has kept me traveling and while that has been nice I have been missing my wild adventures in Upstate New York. This has been a busy year and much has changed. I looked back to see what I was up to this time last year. Dandelion butter and wild frittata's and weekend's with friends are are what came up on the blog.
They are what I have been dreaming about this week as the sun is finally shining here in NYC and I get a few days to head up to the mountains. Though the below post was exactly year ago it feels entirely apropos. I thought I would re-share with you.
By the time we got upstate this year summer was nearly around the corner. Though I have mentioned before that spring comes late to our side of the mountain, this winter was especially brutal. By memorial day, most but not all of the ramps were beginning to wither back. The dry spring had mostly eradicated the wild watercress along our various springs which are running feebly at best this year. I picked what I could that winter had been kind enough to leave behind, big piles of dandelion blossom, dandelion leaves, wild mustard greens, wild mustard flower, chives, spring garlic, wild mint, sorrel and ramp leaves. I set the dandelion blossom aside for butter and washed the rest of the greens. I chopped the bulbs of spring garlic and mixed them into the greens. I put a generous dose of olive oil on the bottom of a heavy large cast iron frying pan and then I piled the greens on top. I whisked up a dozen eggs, their yolks a bright yellow, added about a half a cup of grated pecorino, a dash of celtic sea salt and a few turns of the pepper mill.
FRITTATA OF THE THINGS WINTER LEFT BEHIND
12 ORGANIC EGGS
COPIOUS PILE OF WILD ORGANIC GREENS SUCH AS DANDELION,MINT, MUSTARD, SORREL AND SPRING GARLIC.
1/2 CUP PLUS A BIT MORE OF A VERY GOOD OLIVE OIL. PREFERABLY A DARK LUSCIOUS GREEN ONE.
1/2 CUP PLUS A BIT MORE GRATED PECORINO ROMANO
GREY CELTIC SEA SALT
COURSE BLACK PEPPER
LARGE CAST IRON FRYING PAN
I poured the egg mixture over the greens and set on Julian’s mid heat Aga burner covered for ten minutes or so. I watched it carefully so the bottom would not burn. I am not super used to cooking with an Aga so it took a little extra watching and patience. When the eggs started to puff up around the greens it was time to remove the lid and transfer the frittata to the oven. I hit the top with a dash of olive oil and some more freshly grated pecorino before placing it in the oven. I cooked it in the mid range temp oven until it was just golden abot ten more minutes. We served it room temperature. The key to a good frittata is a dozen eggs and copious amounts of olive oil. The frittata’s from Puglia, where my grandmother was from are made this way. What's not to love about olive oil?
This beautiful vibrant yellow butter is all about early Summer. As kids we ran around with a fistful of dandelions and thrust it under anyone's chin we could find yelling do you like butter!? yes! you like butter! The yellow reflection of the petals was meant to be sign that said participant did indeed like butter. It is from the memory of that adventure that this idea was born.
Start by collecting a bunch of dandelion blossoms.
Gently pull the petals away from the tiny bulb at the base of the neck.
1 qt. of organic heavy cream
1 cup of bright yellow dandelion petals.
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Combine the heavy cream and the dandelion petals in a small food processor or blender.( I find it hard to scrape the butter from a deep blender)
Pulse on high speed for two minutes or so until the solids start to slap the sides of the processor and clearly separate from the liquids.
Holding the butter in place tip the processor to drain off the excess liquids.
Pulse a few more times.
Remove the solids into a wooden bowl and the run ice cold water over the butter until it firms up a bit more.
With the back side of a wooden spoon work the butter back and forth against the side of the wooden bowl to remove any leftover liquids.
When done transfer to a container and serve.
The butter will keep it an airtight container in your fridge for a week or so.
I topped my butter with a sprinkle of pine tip salt.
Serve with homemade crackers or on a fresh pasta or your favorite bread.