A frittata for the season!
One of the great things about living in Northern California, is access to year-round farmers’ markets. During peak season, you can find a market everyday of the week! I shop at the Agriculture Institute of Marin Farmers’ Market every Thursday rain or shine. This year-round market offers everything you need to get dinner on the table. Produce, fish and meat, bakery goods, eggs and so much more!
In season now
Over the last few weeks, I’ve noticed that crowds have steadily grown at the markets (yes, I typically go to more than one just because I’m a farmers’ market nerd) I shop. It seems that after months of hearty vegetable options, shoppers are eager to fill their baskets with lighter fare. Gone are sturdy winter squashes, cruciferous vegetables and citrus are slowly disappearing. Shoppers now snag asparagus, sugar snap peas, artichokes and strawberries.
What’s to come?
In a few weeks glossy red cherries, berries of all kinds and stone fruit will make their way back. Salad greens, fava beans and English peas are starting to emerge.
One of my weekly go-to meals is frittata. Frittatas are forgiving which makes them perfect for last-minute meals. I typically make a frittata Wednesday night or Thursday morning to use up all the produce from the previous weeks shopping. It’s a great way to eliminate waste by incorporating bits and pieces and add vegetables into a dish.
I use a basic recipe from Bon Appetite magazine. For every dozen eggs, use half cup full-fat diary-I prefer whole milk-and one cup shredded cheese of your choice; Gruyere and Parmesan are my favorites. I then add whatever vegetables and aromatics I have on-hand. Recent frittatas take advantage of seasonal specialties; green garlic, spring onion and leeks. Adding hearty greens such as spinach, kale or Swiss chard boost flavor, not to mention a healthy dose of vitamins. Another favorite are mushrooms – they add a bit of meatiness to the dish.
Serve warm or room temperature. Make it a meal by adding a salad, a slice of toasted artisan bread or grilled sausages or both.
This frittata recipe is a lighter version of the one I typically make and it seems to align with the produce found at farmers markets right now.
Most of the ingredients are probably familiar, however nettles, also known as stinging nettles, may be new to you. Just as the name suggests, touching nettles with bare hands can cause asking irritation due to the microscopic hairs. To avoid being stung, use tongs or a plastic bag when collecting these greens. Once cooked, nettles lose the sting and taste similar to spinach.
This frittata is adapted from the cookbook Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables by Joshua McFadden, which has claimed the top spot on my very crowded cookbook shelf. I highly recommend it!
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 stalks green garlic or spring onions (I used a combination of both), trimmed (including 1/2 inch of the green tops), thinly sliced
- 1/2 pound asparagus, tough ends trimmed, cut on a sharp angle into thin slices about 1/4 inch thick
- 4 big handfuls of nettles (use tongs, not your hands!) or spinach
- salt and pepper
- 6 eggs
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- Heat the broiler
- In a small bowl, beat the eggs with a fork.
- Season with salt and pepper, set aside.
- Melt the butter in a 10-inch ovenproof skillet (I used a cast iron pan) over medium heat.
- Add the green garlic or spring onions and cook until it begins to soften, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the asparagus and sautè until it is crisp-tender another 3 to 4 minutes. With tongs, add the nettles or spinach to the skillet.
- Toss to wilt and tenderize 2 to 3 minutes. Season mixture with 1 teaspoon salt and several grinds of black pepper.
- Pour the eggs into the pan over the garlic/onion, asparagus and nettle mixture, scrapping all the egg out of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
- Let the eggs cook without disturbing them for about 1 minute. Then, with the rubber spatula, gently lift the edges of the eggs, letting the liquid eggs pour over the edge and underneath. Let that set for another few seconds and continue lifting and letting the eggs flow.
- This will create layers and make the frittata lighter.
- When the eggs aren't super runny anymore but the top is still moist and undercooked, slide the pan under the broiler for a minute or two to lightly brown the top of the frittata.
- Remove from the oven with a hot mitt (the handle is hot!). Let rest for about 5 minutes before serving.