A Seasonal Dish for Spring — Asparagus and Cheese Frittata

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Springtime has hit Switzerland in full force. The blossoms are blanketing park benches. The pick-your-own tulip fields are in bloom. And seasonal fruits and vegetables are making their yearly appearances in our many farmers’ markets.

Asparagus is one of my perennial favourites. White, green and even purple varieties, this spring vegetable is packed with rich vitamins. It also happens to have a succulent taste that makes you forget you’re even eating healthily. Win win, if you ask me.

These last couple weeks I have been in need of an on-the-go dish. I’ve been busy. Very busy. Spring cleaning and clearing is time consuming, especially with a nearly three-year old who desperately wants to help.

Seriously. Cleaning with a child is like shovelling snow off your driveway during a snowstorm. You can pretty much double the amount of time that you anticipate spending on each chore.

But I have to smile at his eagerness to clean. By letting him “help” I’m breaking through the gender divide that many of us grew up with, i.e. my brother was responsible for mowing the lawn and cleaning the gutters, while my sister and I became masters at the indoor household chores.

At the very least, my future daughter-in-law will thank me. And note to parents: always, always keep an old Windex bottle filled with water, as well as extra dusters.

In between all the cleaning and re-cleaning (thanks Aidan!), I had little time to cook. I needed something that would last several days, that I could grab at will, and that could be eaten at any time of the day, hot or cold.

Frittata, an omelette-like smorgasbord of whatever you have stashed away in your fridge, is among the very few dishes that checks all those boxes.

IMG_4372This dish also happens to be a one-pan wonder; no mess, no fuss. And go figure, it’s incredibly easy to make.

I decided to use a recipe from the Food Network’s Giada De Laurentiis. Her recipes are easy to follow and trustworthy in taste. And she apparently shares my passion for asparagus.

And with that let’s get started.

IMG_4349Preheat the broiler or set your oven to about 240C. Grab a large handful of asparagus, wash well, break off the ends, and chop into bite-sized pieces.

Add a spoonful of butter and olive oil to a cast-iron pan on medium heat. Throw on the asparagus, and sauté until the stalks begin to soften slightly, about three minutes.

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While the asparagus is cooking, go ahead and whisk eggs, a few spoonfuls of cream, some salt and pepper in a bowl. Set aside.

Once the asparagus is slightly softened, add to the pan a few chopped tomatoes, fresh if you have them.

IMG_4353Be sure to deseed them. The key to fluffy frittata is to make sure there isn’t a lot of liquid in the pan. Last thing you want is a soggy egg dish.

I find that a tablespoon works wonders on getting the middle out quickly.

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Once the tomatoes are in the pan, stir and sauté for a few more minutes, then go ahead and add the egg mixture. Once the mixture is in, put the spoon down and stop mixing immediately.

Turn the heat down to medium-low, and wait until the edges are nearly cooked but the tops are still runny.

Then toss in whatever cheese you like (goat cheese or fontina preferably, but gruyere is also amazing).

IMG_4351Pop the frittata in the upper third of the oven or the broiler if you have one.

Bake for five minutes until the top is lightly browned. Let cool for a few minutes, then using a spatula, loosen the edges and scoot the frittata onto a plate.

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Enjoy for the rest of the week. For breakfast, as a quick snack, even as a dinner with a side salad. Whatever floats your frittata.

*Full recipe can be found here.

3 thoughts on “A Seasonal Dish for Spring — Asparagus and Cheese Frittata

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