By Lynda Balslev
Media Information Group
Frittatas aren’t just for lunch. If you’re looking for quick dinner, these egg dishes can be whipped up in minutes, using the contents of your crisper drawer, or even last night’s leftovers, for inspiration.
A frittata is a light and fluffy baked egg dish, a hybrid of an omelette and a quiche. It is crustless and requires baking. Sauté your vegetables first, then add a mixture of eggs and cream enriched with cheese for extra flavor and richness.
Chopped sausages, chunks of cubed ham, and even leftover chicken can be added to the mix for a meatier frittata. Or keep it light and green with veggies, like broccoli, spinach or, in the case of this recipe, asparagus. Asparagus is available all summer. Although it’s tempting to throw spears on the grill or steam them with lemon, they’re a great addition to egg dishes. They also make a beautiful presentation.
Choose melty or sharp cheeses, such as Parmesan, Gruyere or Cheddar, to add flavor and punch to the dish. After all, if you add cheese, you should be able to taste it. Sautéed onions or leeks gently balance out the earthy greens.
A frittata can be made ahead and served warm or at room temperature, which is great for a sweltering day. If you have a cast iron skillet, you can even cook it on the grill to keep the heat out.
Lynda Balslev is a San Francisco Bay Area cookbook author, food and travel writer, and recipe creator.
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12 ounces asparagus, medium or thin
8 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup heavy cream (or 1/4 cup whole milk plus 1/4 cup heavy cream)
2 to 3 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium leeks, white and pale green parts, thinly sliced and rinsed
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Fresh herbs for garnish, such as thyme, mint or chervil
Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
Cut off the tough ends of the asparagus and discard them. Cut the asparagus tips to 3 to 4 inches in length and set aside. Chop the cut stems.
Lightly whisk the eggs in a medium bowl, then stir in the cream, Gruyère cheese, salt and pepper.
Melt the butter with the oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks and sauté until tender without coloring, about 2 minutes. Add chopped asparagus stalks and sauté until bright in color, about 1 minute longer.
Add the eggs and stir gently to evenly distribute them. Carefully arrange the asparagus tips in rays on the eggs without immersing them. Sprinkle Parmigiano cheese on top.
Transfer to the oven. Bake until frittata is set and browned in spots, 20 to 25 minutes. It will puff up while cooking, then set as it cools. Serve warm or at room temperature garnished with fresh herbs.
For 4 to 6 people.