So here we are again, eating local figs, drinking local wine, messing about in boats.
Awhitu Road takes us north from Waiuku, with the dunes to our left, and the road twisting and diving ahead of us, racing along the spine of that old sea monster, the Awhitu Peninsula. For now, it’s the road home.
The dog is gleeful to see us, the cat not so much. The hen down Kauri Road has a new hatch of chicks, the rooster still crows at three a.m., a flock of wild turkeys inhabits the roadside, and my grape vine has finally made it up to our balcony and is taking over.
It grows like a weed, this vine. Fat clumps of green berries now, that will ripen purple/blue berries with three or four seeds per grape and oceans of flavor and sweetness just below the skin. It’s a lot like the old-style Concords we used to buy from the Okanagan Valley. I'm told they make wonderful jelly, but we eat the grapes in greedy, juice-dribbling mouthfuls straight from the vine.
The success of this native grape owes nothing to my gardening skills. It simply grows.
The late asparagus is thriving. Just two short rows, but so crisp it snaps when we break it off. Blue is also fond of asparagus, and plants his broad behind in the row while snipping off the tips and spitting out the rest. This asparagus-loving dog is a threat to my favourite breakfast. Can anything launch a morning like a fresh asparagus frittata with cheese, bacon, a squirt of fresh lime juice, a pile of buttery toast with a bit of crisp bacon on the side? Use any firm, favourite cheese in this. I use a mixture of anything hanging around the fridge, except blue.
Asparagus Fritatta with Bacon & Cheese
Serves 6 to 8
1 tsp (5 mL) butter
2 slices streaky bacon, diced
2 cups (500 mL) diagonally sliced asparagus
2 or 3 green onions, diced
¼ cup (50 mL) sour cream
1 ½ cups (375 mL) shredded cheese, divided
½ cup (125 mL) fresh bread crumbs
½ cup (125 mL) Italian parsley, minced
½ tsp (2 mL) curry powder
¼ tsp (1 mL) grated lime zest
Juice of 1 lime
Salt and pepper
Coat a 10-inch (25 cm) skillet with non-stick spray. Add butter over medium heat. Add diced bacon and cook until most of the fat has rendered. Add asparagus and green onion and stir-fry until tender-crisp. Meanwhile, whisk eggs and sour cream. Stir in half the grated cheese, bread crumbs, minced parsley, curry powder, lime zest, juice, salt and pepper. Pour over asparagus mixture and cook over low heat until set, using a spatula to re-distribute egg mixture. Sprinkle with remaining grated cheese and run under the broiler until cheese is golden and bubbly. This makes a firm frittata to serve in wedges with toast and broiled tomatoes. Option: Oven-bake at 350F (180 C) for about 45 minutes or until set, adding last half of cheese during last 15 minutes.