First asparagus of the season!

I went out for dinner at Salang Pass in Fremont before taiko class tonight. When I got home, Joe wasn’t back yet, so I had time to make him dinner: a fritatta from the the first asparagus of the season we bought on Sunday at farmer’s market. I make asparagus fritatta almost weekly when it’s in season, which feels like it arrived early this year. And asparagus season is not that long that I get tired of it. It’s based on a recipe from the Frugal Gourmet (God rest his maligned soul), and it’s the one recipe I can make from memory!

Take asparagus and steam it until it’s this side of underdone. Chop an onion and saute in some sort of oil in a cast iron pan. (Olive if you’re health-conscious; but any bacon grease you have lying around is so much better.) Beat eggs, stir in some shredded cheese, salt and pepper. (Oops I forgot salt tonight. Technically, the cheese should be parmesan, but I use whatever’s at hand, which tonight was a sharp white cheddar). Put steamed asparagus in the pan on top of the onions, then pour cheese-egg mixture over that. Set the flame to low if you have the time and patience: eggs are so much more tender when cooked long at low temperatures. When little fissures of steam vents start bubbling, throw the rest of the shredded cheese on top and stick it under a broiler (preferably preheated) for a up to a few minutes until it turns golden.

I typically make this is a regular 10 inch pan, but I came across a mini 5 inch cast iron pan (used and seasoned), so I could make a cute individual serving sized fritatta (which means Joe has no leftovers for lunch tomorrow!)

I’ve tried making this fritatta with other veggies like green beans or broccoli, but nothing tastes as good as the unctuous triumvirate of asparagus, eggs and cheese. The onion, humble as it is, is the magic touch, adding an almost-burnt savouriness.

I made this for a work potluck once. Most people who saw it thought it was a green bean fritatta and bypassed it. My one colleague who tried it ate a full quarter of it! I offered for him to take the the rest home, but he was too polite and declined!

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