Spring is always a special time in Paris. There's (sometimes) a nice respite from the grey and rain, and there's always a fresh crop of fruits and vegetables. Artichokes the size of my head are stacked on tables at the weekend marché and next to them are pyramids of bright orange, slender carrots draped over each other, with dirt like skid marks around the sides. I love all the Spring produce, but it’s the sight of asparagus that gets me excited to create.
Asparagus and leeks are a classic French combination that you can even blend together with stock and crème fraiche for a velvety soup. My favorite companion to asparagus, however, is the basic, but versatile egg. The French are the proud owners and creators of the always popular, eat anytime, egg laced quiche with custard filling baked in a homemade Pâte brisée crust.
Then there’s the wonderful simplicity of a perfectly poached oeuf waiting to be burst open onto a plate of cooked asparagus.
Seeing as most are coming out of a very cold winter, ready to shed a few layers, I thought I’d steal a page from our Italian friends to the east and put the asparagus – egg combo in frittata form. After all, I consider the frittata a close cousin to the quiche, but the frittata saves a few calories since it’s sans pastry dough. Throw in some local chèvre and champignons and you have yourself a light and easy way to enjoy the bounty of spring.
What I also like about the frittata is that it can be eaten warm or cold so it’s an easy and elegant item to bring to your first outdoor picnic of the season. Paired with a light Jacquère from Savoie, you might actually see glimpses of summer in the distance.
Asparagus Goat Cheese Frittata
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup onion, diced
- 1/2 cup asparagus, cut into 1” pieces
- 1/4 cup mushrooms, chopped, plus a handful for topping
- 6 eggs
- ¼ cup parsley chopped
- 3 ounces crumbled goat cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Turn broiler to high.
- Heat olive oil in an 8-inch ovenproof skillet. Once hot, add the onions, asparagus and mushrooms with salt and pepper to taste. Sautée until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms begin to brown.
- In a bowl, whisk the eggs with a dash of salt and pepper. Add parsley and 2 ounces of goat cheese.
- Place the egg mixture in the skillet with the other ingredients and use a spatula to gently lift and move the eggs around the pan until it begins to set, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining goat cheese and asparagus tips on top.
- Place in the oven for 3–5 minutes or until the eggs are set and the top begins to brown.
- Serve immediately or cool and eat at room temperature.
For more great French recipes from my stay in Paris, visit Girls' Guide to Paris.