‘Tis the season for asparagus. Lately whenever I go to the grocery store, I see piles of thin green strands piled precariously on top of one another, or stalks standing proudly at attention, waiting for someone to pick them up.
I usually pick up a bunch once a week–but I wasn’t always so fond of asparagus. I think the first time I tried it was at a wedding, when a few pieces showed up unceremoniously with the chicken. They were limp, slightly rubbery, and greasy–everything that good asparagus should not be. I cast them aside, and from them on, I only ate them if they were put in front of me.
All that changed the first time I had good asparagus. If you steam or cook it in the oven with a light drizzle of oil, it will still retain its signature bite. The stalks become pliable but not too wilted, and you get a nice crunch when you bite into it. The flavor is complex and difficult to describe. But to me, good asparagus tastes earthy and authentic–simply put, asparagus isn’t messing around.
This recipe for asparagus frittata comes together quickly and doesn’t call for too many extra ingredients. You saute shallots until they become translucent and slightly caramelized, add in the asparagus, and then pour in the eggs. Sprinkle with cheese, broil for a few minutes, and you’ll have a light but satisfying meal. Usually I get sick of leftovers after a couple days, but I could have eaten this dish all week.
Asparagus Frittata (from here)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup minced shallots
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound asparagus, tough ends snapped off, spears cut diagonally into 1-inch lengths
6 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese
Heat butter into a 10-inch oven-proof frying pan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until they soften and turn translucent, about 3 minutes. Add asparagus, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, covered, for 3 minutes.
Pour in eggs and cook until almost set, but still runny on top, about 2 minutes. While cooking, pre-heat oven broiler.
Sprinkle cheese over eggs and put in oven to broil until cheese is melted and browned, about 4-6 minutes. Remove from oven with oven mitts and slide frittata onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges.