Asparagus and Mushroom Frittata
For those of you who are not familiar, a frittata is basically an Italian style open face omelette that is cut into wedges. Frittatas make a regular appearance in the menu rotation in my kitchen mainly because I love eggs but also because they are quick, tasty and a great way to use up what you have in the fridge. They are perfect any time of day, breakfast, lunch or dinner. I like to make extra to have for lunches during the week.
Like omelettes, frittatas are a great dish to adapt seasonally. This is a spring version with baby shitake mushrooms, beautiful asparagus and a raw milk swiss cheese. Asparagus arrives with the coming of spring and is only in season for a couple of months. There is a lot of asparagus coming from California right now and I have heard rumours of local asparagus on Vancouver Island. I have yet to find any local in Vancouver but I certainly indulge while it is here and it is such a pretty and tasty addition to a frittata.
It goes without saying that the better the quality of your eggs the better your frittata will taste. My favourite place to get eggs is from the farmers’ market. These particular eggs are from Cropthorne Farm where the chickens get to tour around the farm in their mobile hen house. How wonderful is that? I love raw milk cheese and Swiss or gruyere works particularly nice with the mushrooms and asparagus but use whatever kind of cheese you like or have in the fridge.
Last night we had our frittata with roasted new potatoes and some radishes but they are also tasty with toast or a salad. Last year with served this frittata for Mother’s Day with fresh croissants from Fol Epi, need I say more.
Asparagus and Mushroom Frittata
Frittatas are so adaptable and great if you are feeding a crowd. If you are serving a crowd move up to a larger skillet and add more eggs. I usually allow about 1.5 – 2 eggs per person. Other great additions are roasted vegetables, olives, bacon/pancetta, spinach, cherry tomatoes, garlic scapes and the list goes on. The best guide is to use what is in season and what you have in the fridge.
12-15 asparagus spears, fibrous ends snapped off
1-2 tbsp butter
1 cup shitake or other mushrooms sliced
2 small cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp water
salt and pepper to taste
Fresh herbs: chives, rosemary, savoury
1/2 cup grated Swiss cheese
In a medium skillet (I use a 10 inch enamel cast iron pan) with ovenproof handle, steam the asparagus until crisp tender, depending on the size anywhere from 2-5 minutes. Drain asparagus and cool.
In the same skillet heat half the butter and cook the garlic and mushrooms over medium heat until lightly golden. Set aside.
Place oven rack in center of the oven and preheat broiler.
Whisk the eggs, water, salt and pepper and until combined.
Heat the same skillet over medium-low heat, melt the remaining butter and add the eggs. Cook until the bottom and sides are firm but the top is still slightly runny, about 6-8 minutes. Sprinkle with mushrooms, fresh herbs and arrange asparagus on top. Top frittata with grated cheese. Broil until eggs are set, the cheese melts, the top is golden and the frittata has puffed up. Depending on your broiler, 3-5 minutes. Be sure to keep any eye on it.
Cut into wedges and serve.
Note: If you do not have an oven you can cook the frittata entirely on the stove top. Once the egg is starting to set, place a lid on the pan and continue to cook until set and puffed. The frittata can also be finished in a 350F oven instead of under the broiler.