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Garden to table 05-10-17

Here is an easy and delicious way for “Dad and the Children” to honor Mom and give her a break from cooking on Mother’s Day - Sunday, May 14th. Hopefully, Dad is as gifted in the kitchen as Mom and can gently guide the “little darlings” in creating a well-deserved breakfast or brunch.

Fresh spinach and asparagus is available now but this recipe calls for frozen spinach. (If you choose to use fresh, as I did, that is fine, just slightly wilt the spinach in a little salted water, along with the asparagus, and make sure you drain it and squeeze the spinach of any excess liquid. If you are “gluten free” make your crust out of gluten free bread that you soften and roll out. Then cut to the same 4 inch rounds as the pie crust. Thinly sliced, lightly parboiled potatoes arranged in the muffin tin to make a nest for the egg mixture is also an alternative if you are sensitive to wheat products.)

Before you start cooking, be sure and have all ingredients at room temperature and cooking implements organized. I know I am a broken record but, as always, use as much fresh, local, organic produce and products as possible. We all want to honor our Mother Earth as well as our earthly mothers.

To complete the celebration, for the woman who does so much for you, make a refreshing fruit salad using strawberries, bananas, kiwi fruit and chopped mint leaves all steeped in a little orange juice and served in a beautiful glass bowl.

May the angels watch over all mothers everywhere!

1 14 ounce package refrigerated rolled pie crust (see alternative above if needed)

4-5 large eggs, whisked until light and fluffy

3/4 cup half and half or whole milk if desired

1 10 ounce package frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry or 1 large bunch fresh spinach, washed, chopped, wilted , drained and squeezed dry

1/2 cup fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces (optional)

2 Tblsp water salted to taste for wilting spinach and asparagus

1/2 cup finely chopped ham of your choice, I use Boar’s Head to avoid nitrates

1/4 cup grated cheese of choice (optional)

2 scallions, greens only, finely sliced or snipped with kitchen scissors

1 Tablespoon fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill

2 teaspoons whole grain or Dijon mustard

sea salt and black pepper to taste Or use your favorite herbal salt replacement

Place the oven rack in the lowest position and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick spray. Unroll pie crust onto a lightly floured cutting board and cut into 12, 4 inch rounds using a metal cutter or any other implement you have that measures 4 inches in diameter. Place the rounds into the greased tin so that they slightly overlap each cup. Place in refrigerator for at least 15 minutes so the pie crust “rests.”

While the crust is resting, steam fresh spinach and asparagus in salted water about 1 minute. or if using frozen spinach and omitting asparagus, lightly season with salt and mix together with eggs, milk, scallion, ham, cheese, dill, mustard and approximately 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. (At this point you can test the mixture for seasoning by quickly frying a tablespoon of the batter on a lightly oiled or non-stick skillet. Let cool slightly, taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. This is a good technique for any raw food that you are unsure about the seasonings. I do it with meatloaf, quiche batters, etc.) With seasonings adjusted, carefully spoon batter into the mini-crusts, distributing as evenly as possible. Any leftover batter can be cooked as directed above for mini snacks before brunch or later in the day, just make sure to refrigerate if you are saving for later. Place the filled muffin tin in oven and bake until the eggs have puffed and the crust is golden brown (about 25-30 minutes).

Serve warm with fruit salad, love and appreciation.

 

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