The Heart of New England
Asparagus Frittata
By Charlie Burke
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We all know that in France eggs are used to make great omelets, but in Spain and Italy eggs are used in
the same way to make tortillas and frittatas, their versions of the French omelets.  These are true peasant
foods. Tortillas in Spain, made with potatoes, onions and eggs, are served in every tapas bar at room
temperature, while
frittatas in Italy are served as antipasti, and as lunch and dinner. They can also be used
in small slices as appetizers or as main courses.

We expect food to be served hot, but in Southern Europe dishes such as these and other vegetables are
often served at room temperature, permitting their rich flavors to shine. This recipe celebrates fresh spring
asparagus, cooked as Italian farmers’ wives would cook it, and is an easy way to serve this great spring
gift.

Use this recipe for
asparagus fritattas as a master recipe with whichever vegetable is at its peak flavor. In
Italy, pancetta is used to provide flavor, but I prefer to buy Prosciutto di Parma which has less fat and can
be bought in slices to be chopped for inclusion in recipes. However you use this recipe, use fresh local
e
ggs, and be certain that no animal protein is used in the chicken feed. In New Hampshire, Pete & Gerry’s
Eggs
are organic and free range, and there is no doubt they are vastly superior to super market eggs, as
are local farm-raised eggs.

Four servings:

6 large eggs
½ pound
fresh asparagus, cut into ½ inch pieces
¼ cup Prosciutto de Parma, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped shallots
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
kosher or sea salt
freshly ground pepper

Place a sauté pan over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add asparagus, prosciutto and
shallots when oil is hot. Cook until asparagus is nearly tender; remove from heat. Preheat oven to 475
degrees.

Mix eggs with a fork in a bowl until just mixed. Add asparagus mix, Parmesan cheese and parsley to egg
mix. Add salt and pepper.

In a non stick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat until oil is hot. Pour egg mixture into
sauté pan. Cook, lifting edges to let liquid egg mixture to leak under edges. Continue cooking until top is
nearly done, then place into oven until top is done.

Serve warm or at room temperature with a salad and dry white wine and experience the great taste of
European peasant food!

About the author: Charlie Burke is an  organic farmer and avid cook; with his wife, Joanne, Charlie grows certified
organic herbs, greens and berries at Weather Hill Farm in Sanbornton, New Hampshire.  
The Heart of New England
Celebrating the unique character & culture of Maine ~ New Hampshire ~ Vermont
Asparagus Frittata
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