Recipes

shaved asparagus frittata

As a person who at least two to three nights a week doesn’t understand why we plan menus and grocery lists when we could just be eating an egg on toast, scrambled, crispy, poached or soft-cooked and smashed, I, too, would expect this site to have more frittata recipes than it does. (It has one. Sorry.) But I don’t make them much at all because they always feel like a lot of work for something that’s essentially a baked omelet with none of the 2-minute butter-drenched speed of a French one. (We’re also on an omelet kick.)


ribboning the asparagus
what you'll need, somewhat

I blame the parcooked vegetables. Be they peas or broccolini, they almost always requiring trimming (i.e. knife and cutting board), a pot of boiling water, a colander to drain them and then usually an ice bath so they keep their perky green crunch, after which you get to drain them again. Oh and then you’ll probably want to dab them dry on paper towels and all of this is before you even add them to the egg mixture. Maybe you enjoy a ramp frittata? Me too, but they’re going to need to be sauteed for a bit before you add eggs. It’s not like making croissants or anything, but the tiny tasks add up to something that usually outmatches my 5:45pm motivation level.

beating the eggs
cooking

My other gripe is that although I love my cast-iron skillet endlessly and think I keep it well-seasoned, my frittatas always stick, which leads to scrubbing and the grumpiness that comes from messing with a hard-won finish.

shaved asparagus frittata

But, we were away for a long weekend — with 0 of 2 children with us, first time ever — eating our weight in Montreal bagels, poutine, pastries, restaurants where children would be unwelcome and a lot of daytime champagne* and while easing back in yesterday afternoon, a spring frittata for dinner suddenly seemed like the ideal antidote. Enlisting my favorite asparagus technique — using a peeler to create long ribbons — ensured that no precooking is required. Crumbled soft goat cheese requires no grating. A few crisped slices of proscuitto crisped at the bottom of the skillet are a cinch and tasty, but we found decidedly not essential here. I found that using more oil than usual and not moving the eggs at all once they hit the pan created a frittata that didn’t stick at all. And finally, as room-temperature frittatas are the norm in Italy, these work well for days you’re ambling haphazardly towards the table, hoping to keep that vacation-y feeling a little bit longer.

shaved asparagus frittata
shaved asparagus frittata

* which at least one of us worked off running their first half-marathon; that person was, predictably, not me. P.S. If you’re ever curious about what I’m up to when I’m not here, my personal instagram (@debperelman) is the way to find out — many Montreal outtakes there too; the site instagram (@smittenkitchen) is a great way to find out what’s new on the site, or I think is timely for a revisit.

One year ago: Pudding Chomeur and Potato Scallion and Kale Cakes
Two years ago: Avocado Cup Salads, Two Ways
Three years ago: Ramp Pizza (making this tonight!) and Yogurt Panna Cotta with Walnuts and Honey
Four years ago: Pasta with Garlicky Broccoli Rabe and Classic Ice Cream Sandwiches
Five years ago: Heavenly Chocolate Cake Roll and Crispy Potato Roast
Six years ago: Shakshuka, Easy Jam Tart and Classic Cobb Salad
Seven years ago: Artichoke Olive Crostini, Chocolate Caramel Crack(ers) and Simple Potato Gratin
Eight years ago: Caramelized Shallots, 17 Flourless Desserts and Peanut Sesame Noodles</a (though I prefer the newest version)
Nine years ago: Gnocchi with a Grater and The Tart Margarita

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Salted Peanut Butter Cookies and Baked Potatoes with Wild Mushroom Ragu
1.5 Years Ago: Carrot Cake with Cider and Olive Oil and Homemade Harissa
2.5 Years Ago: Apple Slab Pie
3.5 Years Ago: Pancetta White Bean and Swiss Chard Pot Pies and Apple Mosaic Tart with Salted Caramel
4.5 Years Ago: Cumin Seed Roasted Cauliflower with Yogurt

Shaved Asparagus Frittata

Notes:

  • I added a few slices of proscuitto that I’d first crisped in the pan. While they were certainly not unwelcome, you’re not going to need them here to make a great, even vegetarian, frittata.
  • My favorite peeler for ribbon-ing asparagus, and well, basically everything is a y-shaped one. I have this one. I like it so much get stressed when it’s in the dishwasher and I have to be away from it for an hour.
  • I ended up expecting to use 4 ounces of goat cheese but only used 2. Use the amount that looks good to you; if you buy too much, the extra is great crumbled on at the end, or basically on anything, in my opinion. You could, of course, use a handful of any other cheese that you prefer here. Frittatas are flexible.

Serves 6 in dinner-sized wedges, presuming a salad or something else on the side. Takes about 10 minutes to prep and 10 minutes to cook, tops.

1/2 pound asparagus, cleaned, not trimmed
2 ounces thinly sliced proscuitto (optional, see Note up top)
8 large eggs
2 tablespoons milk or cream
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
2 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 to 4 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled (to taste)

Prepare the asparagus: No need to snap off the tough ends of your asparagus. Lay a single stalk on its side on a cutting board. Holding onto the tough end, use a vegetable peeler to peel ribbons away from the tough end (and your hand) right through the soft tip. Discard the tough ends once you’re done peeling.

[As you get to the bottom of your stalk, you might find that the raised edge of your peeler is keeping the blade from shaving the asparagus as thin as you’d like. For this, I move the asparagus to the edge of the cutting board with the peeler blade half-off so you can get closer. Just be careful not to shave your cutting board. :) ]

Crisp the proscuitto: If you’re using the proscuitto, heat the 12-inch ovenproof skillet you’ll use for the final frittata over medium heat. Lay slices in a single layer (will need to do this in two batches) and cook them until lightly brown underneath and curling. Flip them for another 20 to 30 seconds then transfer them to paper towels to blot off the extra oil and cool. Repeat with remaining proscuitto. You’ll use the pan again in a minute.

Heat your broiler.

Vigorously beat your eggs with the milk or cream, plus salt and pepper until well-combined. Stir in scallions and crumble in crisp proscuitto, if using. Gently add asparagus peels, just swishing the egg mixture over them.

Heat your skillet over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Let it heat fully, then swish it around so it goes up the sides of the pan. Pour in asparagus and egg mixture, nudging the asparagus around so it mostly stays level with the eggs. Crumble goat cheese over, to taste. Cook gently (lowering the heat to medium-low if needed) for about 5 minutes, until the edges are set and brown but it’s still loose and eggy on top. Transfer skillet to the broiler and cook for another 1 to 3 minutes, keeping a close eye on it, until eggs are set on top.

Let cool for 5 minutes before cutting into wedges, or longer if you’d like to eat it at room temperature.

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87 comments on shaved asparagus frittata

  1. I have yet to make a frittata and you have me asking why why why. Even though my husband thinks eggs for dinner is a revolting idea ~ I think he’s wrong and I’m making it anyhow. Plus, the bacon will soothe him. I mean, who doesn’t love bacon? Bacon makes the world (or at least my butt) go round.

  2. c

    Could you post a pic of this? I’m confused.

    move the asparagus to the edge of the cutting board with the peeler blade half-off so you can get closer. Just be careful not to shave your cutting board.

    1. deb

      c — Sorry, it sounds confusing. I don’t have a photo. I can take one when I make more later. FWIW, I think it’s something we would all do intuitively.

  3. Yasssss!!!! I have been on such an egg kick lately and was starting to get sick of my rut of hardboiled eggs or runny eggs over various vegetables. This frittata will put all of my sad eggs dishes to shame!

  4. Your second paragraph pretty much sums up why I almost never make frittatas unless it’s to use up leftover cooked vegetables. I’m not sure my vegetable peeler would work too well for shaving asparagus, but it’s worth a go, because this looks so tasty and pretty. And I’ll keep in mind your advice for preventing egg stickage in the cast iron pan.

    But Montreal! I was there with my mother for my first visit last fall–isn’t it a great food town? We were astounded by the quality of pastries everywhere we looked.

  5. Since I’ve perfected sliding the omelette out of the pan, we have lots of omelettes–even more in April at the height of asparagus mania. I have an even easier way to prepare asparagus: microwave them. I snap off the ends, wash them and lay them on a big plate with a microwave cover and nuke for a few minutes (husband wants his veggies SOFT; the French really don’t like them al dente, or, worse, raw). You can lay the whole spears across the omelette or cut them into smaller bits (makes it easier to eat the omelette just with a fork–so you’re using a knife before to avoid using one while eating.

  6. laura

    I don’t have a large cast iron skillet. Do you think all of the cooking (sans prosciutto) could be done in the oven in a pie plate?

  7. Rachel

    Oh my goodness, I have all of these ingredients and even some crispy bacon ready to go! Tomorrow’s dinner :)
    Made the potato pizza on Friday using your lazy pizza dough – heaven! My daughter had the left overs in her lunch box.

  8. I love frittatas! My cast iron pan is one of my most used in the kitchen, but I must admit that I have never used it for a frittata. Instead, I always use my largest non-stick Calphalon. Should I not be doing using a nonctick for this, Deb?

  9. JP

    So this is why I accidentally got some smoked trout out of the freezer. Sans prosciutto and add in some shards of smoked trout. Yowee! This says Spring to me! Thanks for the great recipe. All I need is some sour dough French toast.

    1. MR in NJ

      YES. I used the stovetop-to-broiler method for a long time before discovering the all-oven method. The latter may take slightly longer (not much), but there is less poking-around/standing-over time (just stick the thing in, set the timer, and start fiddling with the bacon, toast, or whatever), and I find the resulting texture far lighter and more appealing, with fewer overdone bits sticking to the pan.

  10. deb

    If you don’t have a cast-iron — Just use any ovenproof skillet. If you don’t have an ovenproof skillet, you can bake the whole thing in a dish (gratin, pie, cake, other) at 350, or if you want to try the approach in the recipe Annie (14) recommends, you might try it at 300. I’ve never done this, but it sounds wonderful.

    Nothing wrong with nonstick! I swear by them for crepes and other thin eggy things, just makes life easier. But I wouldn’t run one under the broiler or put it in a hotter than 400 degree oven.

    Kaili — I cannot imagine how someone could live low-carb there. The bread and pastries are exquisite. I especially loved the flatbreads or grill breads they’d split for sandwiches.

  11. Shelley

    Having 16 laying hens and 2 acres of asparagus I’m excited to use a bit of both supplies — love everything I’ve ever made from your site/cookbook! And, btw, never tough woody ends when you pick daily : )

  12. ER

    I am loving all of the easy weeknight dinner recipes that you have been posting recently! I’ve made the swiss chard pancakes, the sheet pan tikka, and the egg puttanesca recently, and they all came out beautifully. Please keep them coming!

  13. I’m seeing shaved asparagus everywhere. While I love asparagus in almost any form, my husband says he doesn’t care for the texture. We’ll make this for dinner and see if that solves it! :P

  14. Kelsey Lane

    This recipe looks amazing! I have made frittata more than a dozen times, but never with asparagus. It is time to change this. To make it vegetarian, I will use two or three slices of vegan bacon.

  15. LaLa

    We make frittatas all the time. They reheat beautifully, certainly better than most egg dishes, and are even decent after being frozen. One trick I like to do in the rare instances I’m not using my cast iron and instead making a larger batch in a baking dish – oil or butter to pan to keep it from sticking, then “flour” it the way one would for a cake, but use very finally shredded Parmesan cheese instead of flour. It makes a wonderful crust and makes it easier to clean the pan. Stole the idea from the cheese spoonbread my mom made when I was little… Deb, do you have a spoonbread recipe you’d like to share? My mouth is watering…

  16. Laura

    PS, any recommendations on vegetable substitutes for non-asparagus eaters? I know, it’s hard to believe they exist, but I have one in my house.

  17. minik

    That baby picture is adorable! She’s so cute, im sitting here with a big smile on my face. Thank you!
    On your Instagram, I couldn’t help but notice you still don’t have your plants (in the hangers) so I believe you when you say you are “comically slow at home decor” :)
    I feel you on the subject of the peeler; that’s why my peeler has the privilege of being one from Handwash Bunch along with all the wooden things and knives etc.
    Okay, now I’m hungry. Must find asparagus.

  18. Margaret

    Completely unrelated to eggs and asparagus — how is the sprinkle cookie experiment going? Is it still a work in progress or is it getting saved for a big cookbook reveal????? (How awesome would they be for a cover? Very.)

  19. deb

    Laura — I have a broccolini frittata in the archives. That, regular broccoli, greens such as wilted spinach, ramps (saute them first)… all would work well.

    minik — I LOVE how well you all know me. True story: it took me until last week to get to the garden store to get plastic pots with drainage that could fit inside the planters. Could I have ordered them online? Yes, and I would have had them 6 months ago. But I wanted to go to the one in my neighborhood that I pass 5 times a week but never with the planter on me. :)

    Margaret — Ditto with the above. Am down to two favorites. Was hoping to come to a conclusion by late next week, but it might be pushed back another because I have two different things I want to share in advance of Mother’s Day. Look at me, planning ahead like a grownup!

  20. hannah

    ! couldn’t agree more about eggs=eliminating at least 2 days per week’s meal planning. They are my savior, my go-to, my fallback. I also, though, never take the extra leap and make a real deal grownup frittata. You’ve inspired me!

    ps. I’m SO jealous of your trip. I wanted to go to Montreal this spring/summer, but flight prices from my city were non-direct and atrociously overpriced. Hope you went to Joe Beef :-)

  21. Beth

    Deb! I just had an amazing sweet frittata at a friend’s house this past weekend. They put in blueberries, thin sliced bananas, and walnut pieces. I was amazed at how good it was – it was like a flourless pancake. They said sautéed apple and onion also makes a good filling. Though you’d appreciate knowing. :)

  22. Kate | HappyForks.com

    I’ve learnt quite smart way to wash asparagus from sand. After trimming I rinse my asparagus with the heads down under running water. Then I take few spears in a time. Holding them close to the end where they were trimmed I dip them head down into a big bowl full of cold water and make the water whirl. It ensures any sand is out of the heads.

  23. I immediately included this into my cooking list because you used proscuitto, asparagus and goat cheese. That must be a hell of a frittata, so thanks for sharing!

  24. I make frittatas more often than I’d care to admit, healthy, easy and delicious. And they go just as well with a piece of whole wheat toast and coffee as they do with a chilled Sauvignon Blanc and crust of baguette! Win, win!

  25. This looks lovely. I’m looking forward to my first asparagus of the season tonight :-) I’ve never prepared asparagus like this before but I’ll be giving it a go this year.

    And I’m totally with you re the Y-shaped peeler. Getting one of them was life-changing! I particularly love it when I have butternut squash to peel.

  26. Everytime I see a frittata recipe I think how I should make that more for weeknight dinners, but then always forget. This looks easy enough though, and it is pretty and healthy with all those green colors. Love it as always, Deb!

  27. Kalisa

    My poor cast iron skillet is so mistreated. It got rusty after I used it to hold water for bread baking and had to scrub it with steel wool and start over. I think I’ll cook some bacon for this recipe in it first to help recondition it and then make the frittata!

  28. I agree with you there in most of the times avoiding to make a frittata because of the perceived extra work. We mostly use leftovers (potatoes and the remnants of several vegetable sides) & some cheese & how ever many eggs are needed to cover the whole thing to make a Spanish tortilla that gets finished = baked (it gets thicker as I empty the fridge) in the oven.

    Nicole

  29. lynn

    Made this last night with garden asparagus! I added some fresh spring peas and black calamata olives. Saved the crispy asparagus to sprinkle on top of the finished frittata. Thanks, Deb, for saving dinner!

    1. deb

      Hayley — It would, although quiches usually have a bit of milk and cream in them to make them soft and custard-y. This is firm, like an omelet.

  30. Yours was the first blog I started reading! And I love your photos and simple but delicious recipes. This fritatta looks so good, I’m putting it on my menu for next week.
    Saludos from México :)

  31. Made this tonight, and it came together as quickly as promised. Usually frittatas take forever to set for me and I resort to sticking them under the broiler. I didn’t realize that was approved technique! I left out the scallions and prosciutto, just based on personal preference. It was nice and light and springy–and ideally suited to a quick weeknight dinner. Thanks!

  32. stephanie

    i only learned how to make a “real” omelet this year and omg…they are amazing. and not as scary as i thought they would be!

    the point is though, that up until then what i called an “omelet” was actually a frittata, and they are simple one pan dishes. don’t make more work for yourself! :) you don’t have to blanch veggies or heat up your oven. saute whatever filling you wish in a pan until desired doneness, spread it out evenly (or don’t), pour the eggs over top. sprinkle cheese, cover with lid or foil, and continue cooking on the stovetop until it’s set. presto, frittata. this way i can also do it in a nonstick and never worry about it, well, sticking.

  33. stephanie

    ps, best anna picture yet, and that picture of all the breads is also amazeballs. (and this frittata ain’t bad either :))

  34. Outstanding recipe, though I’m not a big fan of egg dishes. I made this almost according to the recipe, instead of goat cheese I used bryndza (a kind of sheep milk cheese), and added a pinch of summer savory. It was flavorfull, and was a dinner in one dish.

  35. Cool! I love your idea to use shaved asparagus! It looks so pretty.
    In my Italian kitchen I make a frittata almost every week to avoid eating meat too often and frittata is always so tasty. My favorite is with spinach or zucchini too but asparagus is also a much loved one.
    Beautiful, simple and delicious recipe as always!

  36. Nadia

    Just wanted to say that I had a spinach fritatta planned for dinner last night and a bit of asparagus, a few scallions and some goat cheese in the fridge, and so made it a mostly asparagus omelet per your recipe. Loved the shaved asparagus technique – that was a new one and will definitely be repeated. (I didn’t have enough asparagus so the spinach rounded it out nicely. I took the chance also not to blanch it, and, after putting a lid on the skillet while it was on the stovetop, it cooked well enough).

  37. I love frittatas. At home, we put red, green, yellow, and orange bell peppers inside as well as cubed potatoes. We do this to make a heartier meal, since we generally eat them for dinner. I love the idea of shaving the asparagus, I’m not a huge fan of chunks in the food I eat. I really can’t wait to try this recipe out!

  38. Alison

    “… ambling haphazardly towards the table…” !! Love the phrase. Love your writing. (and the recipes are pretty good, too! ;)

  39. Laura in CA

    Nice flavors! On a low heat (level 2 out of 10), it took me 15 min on the stovetop. Then 2 in the broiler. Not at all overcooked.

  40. Carol

    I just made the yummiest eggs last night with asparagus, shitake mushrooms and truffle goat cheese….yes, it was a wonderful dinner!! As long as one has access to good fresh eggs, there is nothing better for comfort food in my mind.

  41. Louisa

    I made this tonight (despite the fact that I made eggs for dinner last night too – they’re a staple in our house) and it was beautiful and delicious. I bumped up the goat cheese because I had it and, well, goat cheese. (It was add it to the pan or eat it straight while I cooked. The pan seemed more civilized.)

    It did take a few extra minutes to cook through. I followed your cooking temps, visual cues, and times pretty strictly, and it looked exactly right when I took it out of the broiler (set on top and lightly browned), but when I cut into it after cooling for 5 minutes, it was still very runny inside. I popped it back under the broiler (down a rack so it wouldn’t brown on top too much) for another minute or two and it ended up perfect.

    It was a very quick recipe too. Your time estimates were spot on. Shaving the asparagus (sounds like a naughty euphemism of some sort) was the longest part, and got faster as I got the hang of it. I’d definitely add this to the regular rotation.

  42. Made this today since I’ve been wanting to try peeled asparagus and I make frittatas at least once a week. The asparagus ribbons lent a crisp texture to the dish. I’d likely add in some spices next time — some basil or dill would add flavor nicely — as I would never add in the meat. Thanks for another great recipe Deb!

  43. Lindsay S.

    Made this for our Mother’s Day brunch and it was VERY well received by all! I did end up adding one egg to the recipe for a bit more bulk and leaving out the prosciutto (we have a vegetarian in the family), but it was delicious! I cut it into 12 slices since it was part of a fairly large spread and all were eaten. And although I was worried about whether our cast iron was seasoned well enough, I’m thrilled to say there was no sticking and cleanup was a breeze. Easier than quiche, gluten free (my husband is sensitive to it), and came together in a jiffy- what’s not to love? I’m already picturing variations we can do next time. Thanks!

  44. Allie

    I am going to make this. But, my husband is stupidly lactose intolerant, pretty severely. Do you think this would be good with almond or soy milk? Or no milk/cream at all? I can just put cheese on half of it so that’s not a problem. I’m never sure if things will turn out when I replace dairy products.

  45. deb

    Allie — You’ll be just fine with a milk substitute here. It’s not a key ingredient, just keeps the eggs a little softer.

  46. Betty

    Made this for Mother’s Day brunch, didn’t look quite as pretty as yours (ordering another peeler asap) but it was delicious and everyone loved it! Thank you for providing such accessible and delicious recipes!

  47. Marsha

    Almost a frittata, my 17 yr old granddaughter that’s living with me made asparagus and bacon omelettes for Mother’s day brunch. They turned out perfect! Her mother was delighted!

  48. Lisa

    Inspired by your photo, I’ve been putting mounds of delicate asparagus shavings on our homemade pizzas for the past few weeks. They melt into a whisper of tomato sauce, grated Snofrisk, and red spring onions. Heaven! Of course, I’ll be making the fritatta before the season is over here in Northern CA. Thanks Deb!

  49. Jen

    Made this last night and it was so easy and delicious! I left out the prosciutto and scallions and still had to arm-wrestle my husband to leave enough for tonight’s supper. :-)

  50. Jen

    Oops! Didn’t mean to mention scallions in my comment when they are not even in your recipe. Early morning brain fog!

  51. Anna

    Would this work to freeze and then cook in the oven the day of? I’m hosting a huge brunch on Sunday and trying to cook everything ahead of time.

  52. plch

    I make frittata quite often but I never bake it, as most Italians, I just flip it over in the pan with the help of the lid.

  53. CM

    I’ve made this a few times. It’s a pretty great, versatile recipe. Tonight I made it with bacon I had already cooked (which I found worked better than the prosciutto actually) and feta. It’s super delicious. I shaved the asparagus (even tho it was the super thin baby kind) mostly because it looks pretty, but I will say it might work to then cut the ribbons in half so it’s easier to cut the cooked frittata cleanly. I also just sprinkled the bacon on top once I poured the egg mixture into the pan because I don’t like it getting soggy in the egg mix. Great weeknight dinner or brunch option with whatever is in your fridge.

  54. On the recommendation of Milk Street, I started using a carbon steel skillet, despite my love of cast iron.

    It’s become my go-to, without those seasoning-wrecking oven stick issues.

    Still love my cast iron, but… The carbon steel is everything I thought cast iron would be. Only lighter.

  55. Elizabeth

    I just made this for a birthday brunch. The flavor was amazing! Loved that the asparagus still had a bit of crunch. I did have trouble swishing the asparagus with the egg mixture and ended up using extra eggs. I’m not sure if it was the size of the bowl I was using, or if the asparagus was too thick. It all worked out though!

  56. marsha

    Asparagus in August ? Got some at Safeway just because it looked good and reminded me of Spring with 70 degree lovely weather. Decided to make your Shaved Asparagus frittata, but didn’t have all the stuff. So I made it with canadian bacon, yellow onion and light Skinny Cow swiss cheese. Just had a bite, -pretty good!