Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy St. George's Day!

Poor St. George - I think he's been subsumed this year under Royal Wedding Hysteria.  (Yes, that is a bona fide disease, but it should not be confused with Royal Wedding Malaise.)  Let's celebrate anyway, shall we?

Regent Street, 21/4/2011

Actually, the above flags are British and not, in fact, English.  There's probably a better way to fête England, but to be honest, I spent most of today outside enjoying the glorious sun - until we were all chased indoors by a sudden downpour; thank you, English weather - and so all I have to give you are photos of some gorgeous flowers.  Think of them as England's bounty, and admire them while making the Times' very English asparagus tian, the recipe of which is reprinted totally without permission below.

Asparagus Tian

1 garlic clove
1 tbsp olive oil
5 large eggs
2 heaped tbsp grated hard cheese
2 tbsp crème fraîche
150ml milk
1/2 tsp nutmeg
500 asparagus
250 fresh peas
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 180*c.  Choose a round, shallow dish about 25cm in diameter.  Rub the dish with the cut side of the garlic clove and then with oil - just enough to keep the contents sticking.

Fork up the eggs with the cheese, crème fraîche, and milk and season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper.

Chop half the asparagus spears into pea-sized spears and reserve the rest.

Stir the peas and chopped asparagus into the egg mixture, then tip it into the baking dish.  Arrange the rest of the asparagus spears on top like the spokes of a wheel, heads pointing outwards, poking them down so that they are submerged.

Transfer to the oven and bake for 20 minutes or so, until the egg is trembling but no longer liquid; it will firm up as it cools.  Serve at room temperature with chunks of hot baguette.

(Betsy's note: could this recipe be any more native?  Aside from the ingredients, check out the language: "fork up" and "tip it into."  Oh, hey, England.)

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