Asparagus + Morels + Eggs

Asparagus + Morels + Eggs

Yes, it is Spring. And not a moment too soon. Rhubarb is winding down and last week’s market had some of the first English asparagus.

 

I pretty much ate it every day for a week. On the weekend, we charred it on the grill and served with a squeeze of lemon and some Maldon salt  for crunch. A dear friend who hosted Sunday lunch served it griddled and wrapped in smoked salmon and then tossed in a warm pancetta vinaigrette.

 

 

By the end of the week, I was looking for something to do with the remaining spears and came across some beautiful morels on my way home. And, voila, an easy weeknight dinner that practically sings “Spring!” Just what we need here in London. (In case you haven’t heard, it has been the longest darkest winter ever, so if I dwell too much on the periodic sunshine, please forgive me.)

 

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Weeknight Frittata with Asparagus and Morels

 I make frittata for my family in a 11″/28cm sauté pan. It can be scaled up or down for any size pan, but the cooking time and success generally depend on the depth of the egg mixture. You are aiming for more or less 1″ deep. Too thin and it is really just an omelette. Too thick and the bottom will be caramelized and brown before the top is set.

 

Frittata of Asparagus and Morels

Frittata of Asparagus and Morels

 

Ingredients

8-10 spears of asparagus, woody end removed, cut into ½”/1cm pieces, except for tips which should be longer for garnish
100g/3oz fresh morels, sliced
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 eggs, beaten
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup + 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
handful goat cheese or feta

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 150C/300F.Heat butter and olive oil in a medium or large ovenproof pan. When foamy, add morels and cook over low-ish heat until beginning to soften, 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add asparagus spears and cook a further 2-3 minutes until beginning to soften. They should still have a little bite, but should not taste raw. Remove the asparagus tops for garnishing the top of the frittata.
  3. While the asparagus cook, whisk 8 eggs in a separate bowl. Season generously with salt and freshly ground pepper. Mix in ¼ cup finely grated parmesan cheese.
  4. Make sure the pan has a thin coating of oil across the bottom – you can add a bit more oil of necessary. Gently pour eggs over the asparagus and morels. You can gently redistribute the ingredients, but try not to agitate the eggs much. Sprinkle goat/feta cheese around the top and arrange the asparagus tops evenly. Sprinkle remaining Parmesan.
  5. When the edges are beginning to show signs of setting, and before the bottom has browned (3-5 minutes) put the pan in the oven. Cook until the top is just set.
  6. Allow to rest for a few minutes. Gently loosen the edges and slide the entire frittata onto a plate.

Tips

  • Part of the brilliance of frittata is that it is equally good hot and cold.  Serve it warm for dinner with a green salad.  Pack it in lunch boxes for the next day.  I’ve even put leftover slices on bread and turned them into sandwiches.
  • You can obviously use any combination of vegetables. Other times of the year I use peas and ham, spinach and bacon, leeks and blue cheese, or any random leftovers. This was also a staple when the Fours were toddlers.
  • Lastly, I am not always so lucky to get my whole frittata out in one lovely piece. Don’t fret if this happens to you. It can be served out of the pan and tastes just as good.

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