I have a theory that the frittata is, quite possibly, the most versatile dish on the planet. It’s equally perfect for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and there’s really no better way to use up any squash, onion, bell pepper or herb languishing in the vegetable drawer. At the Mother’s Day brunch we threw with Hayneedle last week, I whipped up a spring vegetable frittata as a savory accompaniment to a light salad and scones, and I probably could have doubled the recipe and still ended up with zero leftovers (meaning, it was a huge hit.) For this version, I roasted farmer’s market asparagus with sliced baby portobello mushrooms, garlic and shallots, then beat into eggs until the entire mixture was light as air. Dustings of sharp grated cheddar, liberal doses of sea salt and freshly ground pepper and a sprinkling of chives infused it with tons of flavor. Think of this like a quiche, only without a crust and (in my opinion) much, much tastier. And the best part is that, when it comes to flavor combinations, the options really are endless (bacon, scallions, cherry tomatoes, red onion, zucchini, mozzarella… feel free to experiment!) Keep reading for the recipe and more of Buff’s lovely images.
Spring Vegetable Frittata
- 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
- 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced baby portobello mushrooms
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 4 large eggs
- 4 large egg whites, yolks reserved for another use
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 3/4 cup grated sharp cheddar, divided (I used Cracker Barrel’s extra sharp)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup minced green onions (green tops only)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 425. On a foil-lined baking sheet, toss asparagus, mushrooms and shallot with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 15 – 20 minutes, until crisp tender. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, add eggs, egg whites, 1/2 cup cheddar, milk and a pinch of salt and pepper to a medium bowl. Whisk for about a minute, until yolks are broken up and mixture is light and frothy.
- Turn oven to broil. In a 10-inch nonstick ovenproof skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, thyme and pinch of the salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Stir in the basil and with the pan over medium heat, pour the egg mixture over the vegetables. Sprinkle the roasted asparagus, mushrooms and shallots evenly over the top. Cook, lifting with a rubber spatula to let the eggs flow underneath, until the edges are set but the middle still is loose, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup cheese over the top. Place under the broiler until the eggs are slightly puffed and the cheese is bubbly and golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes, watching carefully to prevent from overcooking.
- Remove from the oven and let sit for a minute or two. Carefully slide the frittata out onto a large serving platter. Garnish with the chives, slice and serve immediately (it’s also delicious served at room temp, making it ideal for a brunch get-together.)
*images 1, 2 & 4: Buff Strickland