Nathan I and had a friend over for brunch recently and we decided to try and make a frittata. We walked over to Bi-Rite market to pick up some super-fresh seasonal ingredients like asparagus, shiitake mushrooms, leeks, and farm fresh eggs. They have an outstanding cheese selection too, so we got some tasty fontina and the best parmesan I’ve tasted from a market. I was kind of daunted to make this because I’ve never even eaten a frittata, but it turned out to be super easy. You make everything in one pan which makes clean up pretty quick. I was completely won over by this dish – it’s something you can quickly whip up that looks and tastes elegant, yet rustic. It would be a perfect dish for Easter brunch.
Asparagus and Leek Frittata
adapted from Bon Apetit
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
1 cup chopped leeks (white and pale green parts only)
1 12-ounce bunch thin asparagus, trimmed, cut on diagonal into 1-inch pieces (about 2 1/2 cups)
1 cup sliced stemmed shiitake mushrooms
8 large eggs
1 cup diced Fontina cheese, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat broiler. Melt butter in heavy broiler-proof 10-inch-diameter nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add leeks and sauté 4 minutes. Add asparagus and shiitake mushrooms, sprinkle lightly with salt, and sauté until tender, about 6 minutes. Whisk eggs, 3/4 cup Fontina cheese, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in medium bowl. Add egg mixture to skillet; fold gently to combine. Cook until almost set. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup Fontina cheese and Parmesan cheese over. Broil until frittata is puffed and cheese begins to turn golden, about 3 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve.
There are so many choices these days when it comes to eggs, but I try to get local and organic – they are the freshest and most delicious. Once, I did a taste test comparing a fried egg from Vital Pastures with a generic non-organic, nondescript egg from a major national grocer. The difference in the color of yolks was the first thing I noticed. The organic, pasture raised egg yolk was a deep, rich orange-yellow. The generic egg yolk was a pale, light more pastel colored yellow. The taste was also quite different: the generic was mostly flavorless and texture-less, and the pastured egg was springy more ‘eggy’ tasting. If I am eating any animal protein, I want it to be of the highest quality. Does anyone have a similar experience with organic vs. non-organic eggs?
The frittata was tasty and easy to make. I didn’t really know what ‘set’ meant, so I cooked it on the stove until it was mostly solid, but still was a little liquidy on top. I served it along side my favorite spinach and beet salad, and some sliced strawberries and kiwis. Make this for brunch and your guests will be satisfied and impressed.