I’m always on the lookout for easy asparagus recipes. Asparagus is one of those vegetables Eric and I can’t get enough of, so I buy it in huge quantities, then find myself frantically working it into every meal to use it before it goes bad. Often that means a lot of roast asparagus and using it in pasta, risotto or curry. Then I got an incredibly useful cookbook in the mail called The Vegetarian Option, and found this inspired recipe for an asparagus frittata.
The photo practically leaped off the page and Eric and I both sighed “ooooooh” as we looked at it. The ingredients are so simple which also means that you need to use the best quality you can find. It may be tempting to use pre-grated nutmeg, but I really encourage you to grate your own. It only takes a few moments and the increase in flavor is SO worth it. A lot of grocery stores have a bulk spice section where you can get whole nutmeg for just pennies each.
For the eggs I used farm fresh eggs that we get for only $2 a dozen. We get a great deal but the other farms in our area typically only charge $3 a dozen, about what you’d pay in a grocery store.
Make sure you use really fresh asparagus in this recipe because its texture and flavor is the star of the dish. Although I usually buy the thick hearty asparagus, this is one recipe that’s perfect for the thinner ones if that’s what’s on sale. Can you tell Eric is excited for asparagus?
I really liked the idea of a vegetarian frittata for lunch, it just seemed so sophisticated, but I was a little nervous because I seem to have trouble working with eggs sometimes. My omelets always turn into scrambles, my first (and only) quiche was not so tasty (and is a very embarrassing first food photo!).
Sure enough, my first attempt ended in frustration. The frittata actually turned out PERFECT, but I was afraid I’d break it sliding it out of the pan so tried flipping it onto a plate. Unfortunately our counter was still covered in boxes at the time, so I flipped it over the floor without a counter to balance the plate on. Frittata ended up all over the floor, and Eric came running in to see what I was wailing about.
I refused to be intimidated, I had tasted my last attempt (five second rule people!) and knew this was amazing. So the next day I tried again, this time with a space cleared on the counter! It was worth the second try. The creamy custard like texture of the eggs cheese was strikingly contrasted by the crunch of perfectly cooked asparagus. A gentle hint of spice from cayenne lingered on my tongue with the sweetness of nutmeg.
I’ve made this three times (successfully) now and it’s definitely a favorite breakfast or brunch recipe for us. I actually like it better without chives so am leaving those out of my recipe. I will admit I still get a little nervous with making sure it cooks evenly. Using a scanpan that was given to me as a gift definitely helps with making sure the frittata doesn’t stick, I like it better than any frying pan (the Foodbuzz daily special) I’ve tried. Do you have any frittata or omelette cooking tips?
Asparagus Frittataserves 2
8-10 pieces of asparagus
1 TBS olive oil
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
dash of freshly grated nutmeg
3 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup soft cream cheese
1/4 cup finely grated parmesan
a thin slice of butter
Trim the asparagus by breaking off the woody ends. Peel the lower end of the asparagus and thinly slice it on a diagonal. Sprinkle asparagus with salt, cayenne pepper and nutmeg.
Warm the olive oil in a skillet and add the asparagus. Cook gently over low heat until asparagus are tender and a little brighter in color. Test a piece to make sure it’s cooked through. Reserve asparagus on a plate.
Beat eggs, cream cheese and parmesan in bowl until smooth. Return the skillet to medium heat, and the butter and turn heat to low. When butter is melted pour in the egg mixture.
Gently bring the frothing edges of the egg mixture to the center of the pan until eggs begin to solidify. Tip in asparagus and disperse evenly. Gently lift cooked parts of the frittata with a spatula so uncooked egg can slip underneath. A soft curd-like texture should develop. When the egg is no longer liquid, slide or flip the frittata onto a plate. Eat warm or at room temperature (not hot from the pan).
Approximate cost/serving: Eggs are so cheap, and asparagus is very affordable in season as well. The frittata cost about $1.80 to make so 90 cents a serving. With a little fruit it makes a perfect breakfast or lunch.
Vegetarian/Gluten Free: Yes on both!