Make the most of asparagus season with this simple dairy-free spring omelette. Stuffed with asparagus spears, peas, onions, mint and parsley, this vegetarian recipe is not only delicious, but nutritious too. Asparagus frittata is versatile enough to serve as a brunch item, for lunch or supper, as an appetiser or even a starring role in a picnic. It’s also quick and easy to make.
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Asparagus and eggs are one of those flavour pairings that just work. Try it if you don’t believe me. One of my favourite breakfasts in asparagus season, is a boiled egg with dippy asparagus spears, rather than bread or toast soldiers.
When it comes to a simple work from home lunch, an asparagus omelette is both quick and delicious. However, this recipe is very much for a frittata style omelette, rather than a French folded one.
What’s The Difference Between an Omelette and a Frittata?
The main difference between a French omelette and an Italian frittata is the method of cooking. They are both omelettes and the ingredients are pretty much the same. I tend to use the name omelette for both, but really this asparagus, pea and mint egg dish is a frittata. Who knew?
For a French omelette, you cook the eggs on their own in butter with just a pinch of salt. Instead of flipping the omelette over completely, you just fold one half over the other, which cooks the remaining runny egg mixture. Any additional ingredients, such as cheese or mushrooms, are added just before you fold the omelette.
A French omelette should be served immediately, whilst still hot.
When it comes to an Italian frittata however, the ingredients are incorporated into the eggs. So for this asparagus frittata, for example, I cook the onions, asparagus and peas first, then pour the beaten eggs over the top.
The main difference when it comes to ingredients, is that you cook a frittata with olive oil rather than butter.
As a frittata is inevitably thicker than a french omelette, you need to cook both sides. You can do this either by flipping the frittata over once it’s nearly set, or putting it under the grill (broiler) for a minute or two.
Frittata is a great make-ahead omelette, in that you have the option of either serving it hot or at room temperature. This means you can make it up to a day in advance and serve it as an appetiser, in a sandwich or as part of a picnic.
To Flip Or Not To Flip an Omelette
Whether you need to flip your omelette really depends on how thick it is. Thin ones should cook through just fine. I often make a one egg omelette for myself at lunchtimes. This does not need flipping.
On the other hand, thicker omelettes, such as this asparagus frittata, need some cooking on the top side. You can either flip it and cook it briefly for a minute or two, or you can stick it under the grill (broiler). I favour the grill method which ensures my omelette doesn’t break up.
However, as stated above, for a French omelette, you only cook one side, then flip one half over the other. The residual heat cooks the inside.
Do You Make an Omelette with milk or water?
Don’t add milk, or even water to your omelette. I’ve made many an omelette in my time and I’ve learned a thing or two along the way. In true British fashion, this is exactly what I used to do. Somewhere along the way, I was taught to add water instead of milk. This definitely improved things and made for a lighter, less rubbery omelette.
When I went to work in the French speaking part of Switzerland, however, I learned that omelettes are even better if you add neither milk nor water. The only thing you need to add is a little salt and maybe some pepper. I’ve never looked back.
I’ve made this simple spring frittata with asparagus, peas, mint and a goose egg. Yes, you read this correctly, a goose egg. Like asparagus, goose eggs are in season during spring, for a short time only. They have enormous yolks and make the most fabulous omelette. You can find a bit more about them in my duck egg post.
You can have this frittata on the table within twenty minutes from start to finish. However, you’ll only manage this if you prep the ingredients as you go. So whilst the onions are frying, for example, you can prepare the eggs and asparagus.
Start by frying onions in a non-stick frying pan or skillet. Cook over a low to medium heat, so that the frittata doesn’t burn. I use extra virgin olive oil for frying as I prefer it to the more highly processed olive oil. You could use butter instead, but sometimes it’s good to go dairy-free.
After a few minutes, add the asparagus. Follow this with the peas and garlic, the herbs and finally the eggs. That’s pretty much all there is to it.
Once you’ve added the eggs, tilt the pan so that they cover the vegetables evenly. Cook for just a few minutes, until you can see that the eggs are nearly set. Then pop it under the grill (broiler) for a couple of minutes to finish the top off.
Asparagus Frittata: Top Tips
The Proof Is In The Pan
Make sure you use a good non-stick frying pan or skillet. It’s so frustrating when you’ve produced a beautiful omelette and then find it’s stuck to the pan and you can’t get it out. Yes, this has happened to me on more than one occasion. Mostly when I’m away from home and using pans that are not my own. Typical.
The pan needs to be oven proof too as it will go under the grill (broiler) later. I use a well seasoned cast iron skillet*, which is excellent for this job.
What to Eat with Asparagus Frittata
Frittata is delicious eaten hot from the oven with chips (French fries). I make mine in an air-fryer and they only take twenty minutes to cook. Put them on just before starting the frittata and they’ll be ready at the same time. Here’s my recipe for rosemary chips, if you’re interested.
However, allow your frittata to cool before cutting into wedges and you can eat it at room temperature with a salad or in a sandwich. Alternatively, make it in advance and serve in small slices as an appetiser or as part of a picnic feast.
This recipe for asparagus frittata is dairy-free. But if you fancy adding some cheese to it, go ahead. Try thirty grams of finely grated vegetarian friendly parmesan-style cheese.
Don’t Omit Onions
Unless the allium family disagrees with you, don’t omit onions from this frittata. They make a real difference to the flavour, as well as adding sweetness. I’ve used red onions this time, but you can use any onions you like. Spring onions (scallions) go particularly well as they’re also spring vegetables. At this time of year, chives are also a good bet.
Double the Quantity
You can double the quantity to serve four as a main meal or six as a starter or picnic item. But as it will be thicker, you’ll need to cook it for a few minutes longer, both on the stove top and under the grill (broiler).
Fresh mint in a spring omelette is a real game changer. It makes it, well, so very fresh tasting. I only came across the inspired idea of including mint in an omelette last year when I saw Jill Colona’s video of her Corsican mint omelette.
As soon as I saw it, I rushed out to the garden and gathered some mint. Luckily I had eggs in the house, so it wasn’t long before I’d made my first mint omelette. I haven’t looked back.
Other Asparagus Recipes You Might Like
- Asparagus tarts with pesto
- Cornish asparagus risotto with peas and wild garlic pesto
- Green vegetable galette
- Quinoa salad with watercress, walnuts, blue cheese & asparagus
- Sausage salad for a sizzling summer
- Simple griddled asparagus with zingy lemon
- Vegetarian salade niçoise
Keep in Touch
Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make this spring asparagus risotto with or without the peas and mint, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. And do please rate the recipe. Have you any top tips? Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.
If you’d like more seasonal spring recipes, follow the link and you’ll find I have quite a lot of them. All delicious, of course.
Asparagus Frittata – The Recipe
Asparagus Frittata with Peas and Mint – The Recipe
Asparagus Frittata with Peas and Mint
- 1 tbsp olive oil (I use extra virgin)
- 1 red onion halved and thinly sliced
- 1 bunch of asparagus spears
- 1 clove garlic finely chopped
- 1 handful fresh or frozen peas
- 1 handful parsley finely chopped
- 1 handful mint finely chopped
- 3 large eggs (I used a goose egg)
- 1 pinch sea salt
- good grinding of pepper
- Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan or skillet. It needs to be oven proof as it will go under the grill (broiler) later. I use a cast iron skillet, which is excellent for this job.
- Over a moderate heat, fry the onions for five minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, beat the eggs in a bowl with a good pinch of salt and pepper. I use a fork for this.
- Snap the woody ends off the asparagus spears and chop into 3 cm (1 inch) pieces. Add them to the onions and allow to cook for three minutes. Stir occasionally. Add the peas and garlic and cook for a further minute.
- Give a good stir, scatter the peas over the top, then pour in the beaten eggs. Tilt the pan, so that the eggs are evenly distributed. Cook for three minutes when you should see that the egg has nearly set.
- Meanwhile put the grill (broiler)on high, but not the highest heat. Pop the pan under the grill (broiler) and leave it for a couple of minutes to set the top.
- It’s important not to overcook the frittata, or it might end up rubbery, rather than succulent.
- Let the frittata stand for a couple of minutes, then cut into halves or wedges and serve.
I’m sharing this recipe for asparagus frittata with Melissa Traub for #CookBlogShare.
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