I said I wouldn’t do it
Last week I wrote that while I turned my attention to gardening, my postings would only be once a week . . . unless I couldn’t help myselfAnd that’s indeed the case, after all it’s both Easter and Passover this weekend, how could I not write a post and offer a recipe? Plus, with almost a foot of snow in the forecast, there’s not much opportunity for gardening (though I did plant a few seeds indoors that are now under grow lights).
So what’s a frittata?
Frittatas are an egg dish of Italian heritage, kind of like an open-faced omelette. The eggs in a frittata are mixed into all of the goodies. Instead of being folded in half or thirds as with omelettes, frittatas are cooked slowly, finished under a broiler for color and served in wedges or squares. Whereas it is rare to eat an omellete any way but hot, frittatas are eaten hot, warm and at room temperature—the choice is yours.
Frittatas are one of my favorite fall-back dishes—a recipe to fall back on when I want something quick and easy for a last-minute brunch or supper. Frittatas are just that as well as beautiful and very tasty. They easily adapt to whatever veggies you have on hand. Enjoy this Asparagus, Leek & Spinach Frittata for breakfast, brunch, lunch and actually any meal or snack day or night. And, when asparagus is no longer in season, replace it with what is in season from broccoli, peas, tomatoes, corn, green beans, to Swiss chard and/or kale. Frittatas are that versatile.
Here’s my take
I love vegetables, so there’s way more vegetables in this frittata recipe and fewer eggs than typical. I’ve also reduced the amount of cheese by a third, a half or more. It’s really a meal in itself with or without a side green salad. I enjoy a dollop of stone ground mustard to brighten the flavor. Other delicious accompaniments might be fresh salsa, pesto or the Sun-dried Tomato & Greek Olive Tapenade from last week.
It’s spring, and asparagus is showing up everywhere. For the frittata I use the thinnest of spears. Other sizes also work; just increase their cooking time a minute or two so that they are barely crisp-tender when you begin cooking the spinach or chard.
Did you know that the bottom part of the asparagus, the part that you snap off, helps contain the moisture necessary to keep the spear fresh? Thus, the best way to store asparagus fresher longer is to place it unwashed in a glass with the stems sitting in a few inches of water. Then enclose the asparagus and glass in a plastic bag. When you’re ready to use the asparagus, wash it and break off the stems at their natural breaking point before proceeding with your recipe.
Delicious topped with stone-ground mustard, fresh salsa, pesto or tapenade. Have fun making frittatas in every season with whatever fresh (and even frozen) vegetables you have, such as broccoli, tomatoes, Swiss chard, kale, green beans, corn etc.
1½ tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only)
1 pound pencil-thin asparagus, tough ends removed, then cut on the diagonal into 1-inch lengths to equal about 3¼ cups
3/8 teaspoon sea salt, divided
Half a dozen twists freshly ground black pepper
4 cups packed baby spinach
6 large eggs
¼ cup crumbled goat cheese or feta cheese
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 350o
Heat a heavy, broiler-proof (i.e., no plastic handles), 12-inch diameter nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil, when it’s hot, stir in the butter. Once the butter melts, stir in the sliced leek and sauté for about 5 minutes to soften and separate the slices. Stir in the asparagus and sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon salt and a half dozen grindings of fresh black pepper. Sauté the asparagus until it is just tender, about 6 minutes.
Stir in the baby spinach and sprinkle it with another 1/8 teaspoon of salt. Continue to toss the spinach around with the other veggies until it is slightly wilted. Turn off the heat. Sprinkle the goat or feta cheese evenly over the top of the vegetables.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs with 1/8 teaspoon of salt. Pour the eggs over the vegetables and tilt the pan as necessary so that the eggs evenly cover the bottom of the pan.
Turn the heat to medium and cook the frittata just until the eggs begin to set. Sprinkle the top of the frittata with the grated Parmesan cheese.
Place the pan on the middle shelf in the preheated oven. Bake for 5 minutes. Change the heat setting to high broil and cook the frittata for another 4 minutes until it is puffed and lightly browned.
Let the frittata cool for a couple of minutes then slide a spatula under the frittata and transfer it to a large cutting board or serving platter. Cut into wedges or squares and serve hot, warm or at room temperature—your choice.
Note: As kale takes longer to cook than spinach, chard or asparagus, thinly slice it and either pre-cook it separately, or add it to the pan with the leeks.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe without images