recently-ish, we got a new-to-us stove/oven. our old oven was a borderline antique electric oven but man, that thing could heat up quickly and seemed to be pretty accurate in terms of temperature. our new oven? (::purses lips::) he and i are still getting to know each other. he’s gas, and i can’t decide if he runs hot or cold. which is pretty awesome. (lies)
recently, a super delicious cake that i’m really excited to share with you soon took fooooorevvvvveeerr to bake in the gas oven. i had never made the cake before, though, so thought maybe the recipe was just off. that happens, you know?
then, when i was testing this asparagus frittata with mint, i was beginning to wonder if the oven ran cold because it was taking so much longer for the frittata to bake in my oven than the recipe indicated it should. given that the recipe i was working off of came from the cook’s illustrated cookbook, i started giving my oven the side eye.
but when i rigged up a makeshift thermometer (well, a real thermometer, and a nice one at that, but the cable that i have is not designed to measure air temperature…), the thermometer reported that the oven was running 15° F hot. hmmm…. too cold: 2, too hot: 1
while we wait in suspense for the oven thermometer that i just ordered from amazon to arrive, let’s enjoy some asparagus frittata with mint, shall we? assuming you’re not thisclose to putting your oven in time out to think about what he’s done, this frittata is really easy to put together.
i’d say that if you can make scrambled eggs, you can make this, but i actually think making really good scrambled eggs is more difficult than making this frittata. basically, to make this asparagus frittata with mint, you sauté a little bit of shallot, throw some asparagus and mint in the pan, pour in the lightly scrambled eggs, and then cook the whole thing, first on the stove for a quick bit, then in the oven briefly to set the top of the frittata. if you start with the really skinny asparagus, you don’t even have to precook it before adding it to the skillet.
which makes this whole situation a totally manageable quick weeknight dinner, perhaps with some crusty bread and a salad, or a very doable brunch dish that allows you to actually spend time with your guests without having to get up at the crack of dawn to prep everything before they get there.
regardless of what time of day you make this frittata, i do hope you’ll try it soon as it tastes like all that is good about spring (in other words, asparagus and mint). and even in my dragging-its-feet oven, the whole thing took less than 30 minutes from start to finish, which means you’ll have more time to play outside (i assume the sun is out *somewhere*, even though it’s been raining/overcast here for nearly 6 weeks straight…).
- 6 oz. (170 g.) asparagus, ends trimmed and stalks cut into 1” (2.5 cm) segments
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh mint
- 6 large eggs, lightly beaten
- if your asparagus are the thickness of a pencil, skip this step. if your asparagus are fatter than a pencil, bring a large saucepan of water to boil over high heat. while the water is coming up to boil, set up an ice bath in a large bowl. once the water is boiling, add the asparagus and cook for about 2 minutes, until the asparagus is tender. drain and immediately put the asparagus in the ice bath. once the asparagus have cooled (15 – 30 seconds), drain the asparagus again and pat them dry on a clean towel.
- move the oven rack to the upper-middle position and preheat the oven to 350° F.
- heat the olive oil over medium heat in an oven safe, nonstick 10” (25.5 cm) skillet. add the shallot and sauté, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes. add the asparagus and mint, stir to combine.
- add the eggs to the skillet and turn the heat down just slightly, to just below medium. gently stir the eggs just until they begin to set on the bottom. use a thin heatproof rubber spatula to lift the edge of frittata gently on one side and tip the skillet towards the lifted edge, so that the uncooked eggs can run from the top to the bottom, underneath the cooked layer. set the skillet level again and let the frittata cook for another 30 seconds or so, then repeat lifting the edge, letting the raw egg run underneath, and letting the new bottom layer cook until the top is no longer runny (but it will still be wet).
- slide the skillet into the oven and bake until the top of the frittata is just set, somewhere between 2 and 10 minutes (cook’s illustrated says 2 – 4 minutes, it took 10 minutes on repeated tests in my (admittedly wonky) oven).
- remove from the oven and run the spatula around the edge of the frittata to loosen it from the skillet. carefully turn it out onto a large plate or serving platter. serve warm (my favorite), at room temperature, or chilled.
leftovers keep several days in an airtight container in the refrigerator and make for great take-to-work lunches, since you can heat them up quickly, even in the junky office kitchen microwave, or you can eat the leftovers cold or at room temperature if the office microwave is just too much to deal with.
adapted from classic frittata with asparagus, mint, and parmesan in the cook’s illustrated cookbook.
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