Easter Brunch Menu
-Pecorino Asparagus Frittata
-Cherry Tomatoes with Oregano
-Hearts of Palm & Olives
-Italian Sweetbread (la Colomba)
You’ll love this – of the five food items listed in this menu, you only need to prepare three of them (the sweetbread and chocolates are ready-made). Total prep time is approximately 50 minutes. Imagine spoiling your family and friends with these easy and exquisite foods for brunch next Sunday – Happy Easter!
My Easter foods always include Francesca Sciscente’s (my mom) Pecorino Asparagus Frittata. With sweet ham bits, this traditional Easter morn frittata was usually paired with tomatoes. But I’ve discovered that cherry tomatoes are sweeter and look cuter next to this gourmet egg dish. Prep time for both recipes combined – only 35 minutes! [see recipes below]
Hearts of Palm & Olives, tossed with olive oil, red onion, bell pepper, celery and lemon is a refreshing side to the frittata (found in our Recipes, under “Salads” ).
The easy grand finale: slice a premade Colomba sweetbread, arranged on a platter and surrounded by your favorite chocolates. Serve with coffee, tea or cappuccino. After the grind, this brunch menu is ideal. I can relax now … and so can you!
Prep time: 25 to 30 minutes
Serves: 6 to 8
For the Pecorino Asparagus Frittata:
1 bunch fresh asparagus
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 to 3 ounces sharp, imported Pecorino Romano cheese*
4 ounces (about 5 slices) boiled ham (optional)
4 large eggs
6 large egg whites
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons extra virgin or vegetable oil
1. Prepare the asparagus – trim 3 to 4-inch stems (white parts) from asparagus bottoms and discard. Cut asparagus into 1/2-inch thick rounds and place them in a 2-quart saucepot.
2. Add enough cold water to cover the asparagus.
3. Place saucepot on burner set on high heat. Cover and bring to a boil.
4. Add the salt and boil 2 minutes, uncovered, or until asparagus is crunchy-tender when pierced with a fork.
5. Drain asparagus and transfer it to a glass or porcelain bowl to cool, 4 to 6 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, prepare frittata ingredients – finely grate the Pecorino Romano Cheese to yield 1/3 cup; set aside.
7. On a flat surface, cut ham into 1/4-inch wide strips and then into 1/4-inch pieces; set aside.
8. In a large bowl and with a fork or whisk, beat the eggs and egg whites with the grated cheese and black pepper until well-blended; set aside.
9. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat the oil. Add the asparagus and ham pieces.
10. Stir fry with a cooking spatula on medium-high heat until the ham begins to turn light golden, about 3 to 4 minutes.
11. Pour the egg and cheese mixture over the skillet ingredients, swirling the skillet around so that the mixture covers entire diameter of the skillet.
12. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook about 7 to 8 minutes, occasionally lifting frittata sides and swirling skillet to let raw egg escape to bottom. Check bottom of frittata by lifting sides with the spatula. When bottom is golden, it is time to flip the frittata over.
13. To flip the frittata, put a large platter over skillet, making sure the platter is large enough to overlap skillet edges by 2 inches.
14. With one hand on platter and the other firmly gripping the skillet handle, make a quick flip. Slide the frittata back into skillet and cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes on low. Transfer frittata to a serving platter and divide into 8 equal wedges.
15. Alternate flipping method: Divide the frittata into four equal pieces and, with the spatula, flip each piece over in skillet.
16. Cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes on low. Transfer to a serving platter and cut each wedge in half (there will be a total of 8 pieces)
*Note: Imported Pecorino Romano cheese can be purchased at Italian grocery stores or international gourmet food stores, such as Trader Joe’s™ and Wholefoods™.
Text & Photographs © Nancy Real 2011 (the Balocco™ Colomba is a brand name – the packaged product was photographed by Nancy Real).