When I was a tiny kid I used to love climbing around the hillside above our pasture looking for creasy greens in the early spring.Â
I still love creasy greens.
Creasy greens are Barbarea verna, in the mustard family. They taste a little mustardy, a little sweet, a little bitter. Reminiscent of very young collards, but wilder.Â
I like to pick them when they’re about to bloom, when they’re a lot like “wild broccoli” (or broccolini, rapini, broccoli raab, or whatever they’re calling it these days).Â
Wander over old fields or woods edges, find creasy bunches that are about to bloom (here’s a picture), and pick the buds, plus a few inches of tender stem. Cook them any way you like, but I think they’re especially good in a frittata with some ramp greens, or green garlic.
Pick creasy greens buds. Rinse if necessary.
When cooked through, add a few eggs that are slightly beaten and seasoned to taste. (Remember, frittata should be mostly vegetables. You don’t want to use so much egg that you overwhelm the filling. Egg is there to hold it together. As the boy says, “Frittata is not an egg dish.”)
You can cook the frittata on top of the stove for a bit, then finish it under the broiler, or you can do it the Italian way: once it’s set well on the bottom, detach it and turn it over in the pan to finish cooking.
Either way, it’s rather tasty.
We had some the other day with cold baked potatoes and homemade ramp mayonnaise, and some spring greens. (The mayonnaise was good on everything, including the frittata. Eggs on eggs â€” it must be spring!)