Shaved Asparagus and Goat’s Cheese Frittata

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I spotted some Asparagus in the supermarket, and did what I usually do – bought it, intending to eat it for dinner/lunch/whichever meal came first.. and didn’t. Story of my life right there..

This  Asparagus was imported from *rifles through the bin* – Mexico.  I know, I’m a disgrace, but the local Asparagus season is so short that I do occasionally, around this time of year, find myself grabbing a bag which comes from – ahem – slightly further away..

I’ve been waiting patiently for my friend Julie’s Asparagus to be finally ready to eat – it’s a monster to grow yourself; which you’ll know if you’ve ever tried – you’re not allowed to pick it for the first two years after you’ve planted it. Not that Julie was in any danger of eating it before she should, because the local rabbit population developed a taste for it, despite the latent threat of a) an irate Julie, and b) a mini army of dogs whose favourite thing is chasing rabbits. Still, we live in hope, and in the meantime I buy Asparagus from Mexico, until the proper stuff makes an appearance..

This recipe though, this recipe, is beyond delicious, and – get this – takes about 10 minutes from thinking about it, to sitting down to hoover it up eat it ..

This is a Deb Perlman/Smitten Kitchen recipe; I’ve made a few – not many – changes, and I have to tell you that if you like Asparagus* (see NOTES), and you like Goat’s cheese, you are absolutely going to love this!

This recipe made enough for a lunch for 4 today – assuming that you’re going to serve a salad  and some nice bread with it. Not that there were 4 for lunch, times being what they are at the latter end of 2021.. Of course you can up the ingredients, add more eggs, use a bigger frying pan, to make it feed a few more lucky diners..

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EQUIPMENT:

  • A Y-shaped vegetable peeler
  • A sharp knife
  • A non-stick frying pan
  • a wooden spoon for stirring
  • a jug for the eggs
  • a balloon whisk
  • An over-head grill

INGREDIENTS: Feeds 4 for lunch, 2 for dinner.

  • 125g  asparagus, cleaned, not trimmed – i.e.: don’t snap the end off as you normally do when cooking Asparagus.
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced Prosciutto – optional – I didn’t bother. Fry the prosciutto until it’s crispy, then crumble into the Egg mixture before cooking.
  • 4-5 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk or cream
  • Sprinkle of  salt, plus more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 or 4 scallions/Spring onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • a good knob of butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 to 4 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled or spooned over (to taste)

METHOD:

  • Put the grill on to heat.
  • Holding the cut end of the asparagus stem, use the vegetable peeler to swipe thin slices off. Swipe from the cut end towards the head of the stalk. When you get to the end, you’ll discover that the ‘snap point’ of the Asparagus stem is a different colour. Cut if off and dispose of it. Use your sharp knife to cut the very last bit of the stem into thin slices. Continue until you’ve shaved all the Asparagus stems.

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The woody end is very obvious as you shave the Asparagus stem..

  • Top and tail the Spring Onions, then slice finely on the diagonal.
  • Whisk the eggs, cream/milk, and salt and pepper together.
  • Put the frying pan on to heat – add the Olive oil and melt the butter until it’s bubbling but not browned.
  • Throw in the Asparagus and Spring onion, and stir fly for a couple of minutes. They will wilt fairly quickly.

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  • Pour over the egg mixture, and leave the pan on a medium heat without touching it for about 4 minutes.
  • During those 4 minutes, dot the Goat’s cheese over the top of the Frittata, then put the pan under the grill until it browns slightly and puffs up a bit – about 4-5 minutes.

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  • Remove from the grill – the handle of the pan may be hot, so take care.
  • Cut into 4, drizzle with some of your best Olive oil and serve immediately.

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NOTES:

  • * Asparagus: you either love it or hate it. Let’s not get into the smelly pee thing – we’re far, far too refined for that.. What I’m trying to say that is if you’re not yet a fan of Asparagus, then this recipe might change your mind.. If you are determined to hate Asparagus, then I think that some lightly cooked then shredded French beans might make a very acceptable alternative.
  •  I have a horror of over-cooked eggs, so these timings are about right – the Frittata shouldn’t be fully cooked when you take from under the grill. Likewise, the base shouldn’t be left on the hob for too long.
  • Don’t be disappointed when the Frittata deflates  after you’ve taken it from the grill – it always does that!
  • I thought a squeeze of lemon would be nice, but the Goat’s cheese is quite tart, so I didn’t feel the need for it. If you don’t like Goat’s cheese, you can really use anything you like –  Cream cheese, or even some Brie might be a good substitute.
  • I’m going to try this recipe using some of my own, home-grown, purple sprouting Broccoli. I think it would be an excellent easy substitution, and it will stop those pesky pigeons from eating it all on me!

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About

I started writing down recipes in an old copybook when I was about 16. With 6 children at home, my Mother was always glad of a hand in the kitchen, and really allowed us to experiment - as long as we washed up afterwards, and left the kitchen immaculate! Having a tidy kitchen has followed me through my life, as has the habit of writing down my favourite recipes; except that these days I write them for my website, and add photographs when I can. The website really started when it occurred to me that my daughter might like to have these recipes when I've forgotten them. In my early days of cooking for family and friends, I used to phone my Mum all the time to ask her for the recipe for some of our favourite family dinners. She rarely had a recipe to hand - I think, like me, she made a lot of it up as she went along.. So welcome to Eating for Ireland - these are the recipes that my friends and family having been eating these past 40 years.. yes, I truly am ancient! They are tried and tested, and have worked for me for all that time - I have updated them as new ingredients became available - I really hope you'll find something that you can make into a family favourite of your own. You don't have to tell anyone where you found these great new dishes that you're serving up - it can be our little secret, but I'd really love it if you could give me a sneaky 'follow' on Facebook and Instagram.. So off you go - have a good rummage around, you're bound to find something new! My sincere thanks to all of you who have found a recipe that you liked and dropped me a line to tell me - I really do love to hear from you! Happy Cooking! Becks xx

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