Is there a vegetable that says "spring" more clearly than asparagus? Tender, juicy, and vibrantly green, they burst with delicate, grassy flavor in your mouth. I have been roasting them and cooking them in a quick pan saute as a side dish, but a favorite way to enjoy asparagus is as a main course egg frittata. It's quick, easy and delicious.
I need more recipes featuring asparagus, but Kevin Weeks over at Seriously Good is making it easy for me. Kevin will be featuring a round up of links featuring asparagus recipes that will have us all running to the market or, if we are lucky and proactive, our own backyard vegetable gardens. Thanks for the inspiration and recipes, Kevin! Great idea. I can't wait to see what you find.
Now on to the Frittata recipe. A frittata is essentially an open face egg pie, like a quiche without the crust. You start it on the stove top, and finish it under the broiler for a lovely golden crust. Here I have used locally grown asparagus, but once you add this to your repertoir you will want to try it with all kinds of favorite veggies, cheeses, or meats. This is the ultimate dish for leftover bits in the fridge, so choose what suits you. The recipe below comes from Giada De Laurentiis' Everyday Italian: 125 Simple and Delicious Recipes
FRITTATA WITH ASPARAGUS, TOMATO AND FONTINA CHEESE
6 large eggs
2 tablespoons whipping cream
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
12 ounces asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 tomato, seeded and diced
3 ounces fontina cheese, cubed (or another soft cheese that melts well)
Directions: Preheat the broiler. In a medoim bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, seasonings and set aside. In a non-stick and oven-proof skillet, heat the oil and butter until melted. Add the asparagus and saute until crisp and tender, about two minutes. Add the tomato and saute another minute or two. Pour the egg mixture over the asparagus, and sprinkle the cheese over the eggs. Cover and cook over medoim heat until the frittata is almost set but the top is still runny (about two minutes).
Then place the uncovered skillet under the broiler and broil until the top is set and golden brown and the cheese is melted. Remove from the oven and let it stand for a couple of minutes. Using a rubber spatula, loosen the frittata from the skillet and let it slide onto a plate or cutting board. Cut into wedges and serve.
NOTES: Look for asparagus with firm, tight heads. Asparagus can have a woody stem near the base, which is normally cut off. A simpler way to prepare the asparagus is to bend the stem near the bottom, until it breaks. The asparagus will naturally break at the most appropriate place. (That's a tip I learned from Giada De Laurentiis' FoodTv show, and it works for me!)
Any cheese that melts well can be used, and you can grate it rather than cube it if not too soft. You can also spoon in very soft cheese in dollops, such as ricotta or a goat cheese. Serve with a green salad, toast or bruschetta, and a chilled white wine such as Pinot Grigio. Buon appetito!