Asparagus and Parmesan Omelet or Frittata

Recipe and photo credit: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/29/health/nutrition

Recipe and photo credit: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/29/health/nutrition

“Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.” –Andy Rooney

  • 5 thin or medium stalks asparagus, trimmed
  • 4 large or extra-large eggs
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon low-fat milk
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, dill, chives, tarragon, or a combination
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

1. Steam the asparagus until tender, about 5 minutes. Refresh with cold water, and pat dry. Cut into 1/2-inch slices and set aside.

2. Break 2 eggs into a bowl and beat with a fork or a whisk until frothy. Add salt and pepper to taste (about 1/8 teaspoon salt) and 2 teaspoons milk. Whisk 2 teaspoons of the Parmesan and half the herbs into the eggs and mix well.

3. Heat an 8-inch nonstick omelet pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 teaspoons of the olive oil. When the oil feels hot when you hold your hand above it, pour in the eggs, scraping every last bit into the pan. Swirl the pan to distribute the eggs evenly over the surface. Shake the pan gently, tilting it slightly with one hand while lifting up the edges of the omelet with the spatula in your other hand, to let the eggs run underneath during the first few minutes of cooking. As soon as the eggs are set on the bottom, sprinkle half the asparagus down the middle of the eggs, then jerk the pan quickly away from you then back towards you so that the omelet folds over on itself. If you don’t like your omelet runny in the middle , jerk the pan again so that the omelet folds over once more. Cook for a minute or two longer. Tilt the pan and roll out onto a plate. Repeat with the remaining eggs, Parmesan herbs, and asparagus, and serve.

Yield: Makes 2 rolled omelets, serving 2

Makes one 10-inch frittata, serving 4 to 6

This also makes a beautiful appetizer, cut into diamonds.

  • 3/4 pound asparagus, trimmed
  • 8 extra-large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons low-fat milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh herbs (as above)
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1. Steam the asparagus until tender, about 5 minutes. Refresh with cold water, drain and pat dry. Cut into 1/2-inch slices and set aside.

2. Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Beat in the milk, salt, pepper, and herbs. Stir in the asparagus and the Parmesan if using.

3. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a 10-inch heavy nonstick skillet. Hold your hand above it; it should feel hot. Drop a bit of egg into the pan and if it sizzles and cooks at once, the pan is ready. Pour in the egg mixture. Swirl the pan to distribute the eggs and filling evenly over the surface. Shake the pan gently, tilting it slightly with one hand while lifting up the edges of the frittata with the spatula in your other hand, to let the eggs run underneath during the first few minutes of cooking. Turn the heat down to low and cover the pan. Cook 8 to 10 minutes, shaking the pan every once in a while, until the frittata is just about set. Meanwhile, light the broiler.

4. If the frittata is not quite set on the top, place under the broiler, about 3 inches from the heat, for 1 minute, watching closely, until just beginning to color on the top. Do not allow the eggs to brown too much or they’ll taste bitter. Remove from the heat, allow to sit in the pan for 5 minutes or longer, then carefully slide out onto a platter, or cut in wedges in the pan. Serve warm, room temperature, or cold.

Advance preparation:

The asparagus can be prepared a day ahead and kept in the refrigerator. The frittata can be prepared several hours or even a day ahead, covered and refrigerated until shortly before serving. It does not reheat well.

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