One of the main advantages that accompany a cast-iron pan is its innate ability to be tossed willy-nilly into an oven without incurring considerable damage. Without such an implement one has to, when making a frittata or something similar, go through an occasionally embarrassing egg-flipping process. As such, it is clear that once one has received such a useful gift one is obliged to put it through its frittata-making paces. This must seem like incredibly old, and thus ironic, news to the skillet veterans out there. However, for a novice, such as me, it is proving emotionally difficult to come to terms with how rapidly such an item can become entirely indispensable.
Asparagus isn’t the most frugal of vegetables, one must admit. However, it being the season for this singular stem, it appears to be the ideal time at which to impart ideas for its use. Asparagus has a reasonably distinctive flavour, which means that one may use it sparingly. Therefore, this attribute has the rather pleasing effect of reducing the impact asparagus has on one’s wallet – unless, of course, one is in particular need of being overwhelmed by expensive, green shoots. The roots of this dish definitely lie in the definition of frugal as economic, rather than cheap. Though, the addition of the peas serves as an inexpensive backup to the asparagus. If one really wanted to make this dish cheap, and not merely frugal, one could replace the asparagus with some kind of long, thin bean.
Asparagus and Garden Pea Frittata
• 6-7 shoots of asparagus, hard bottoms cut off
• 4 large eggs
• A handful of parmesan cheese
• 1 onion, thinly sliced
• A little olive oil
• A handful of garden peas
• Salt and Pepper
1. First, one will need to sauté the asparagus on a fairly hot heat for 4-5 minutes, until they begin to become tender. Once this has been done, set them aside, add a little more oil and fry the onions until they begin to brown.
2. Whisk the eggs thoroughly, mixing in half the parmesan cheese and a little salt and pepper. Pour this on top of the cooked onions, ensuring the pan is very hot. Make sure that the egg reaches every crevice. Scatter a handful of peas on the top, place the asparagus as depicted, add the rest of the parmesan and grill until golden brown. Best served with a side salad.
Cost: Due to the relatively small amount of asparagus used, as well as the inclusion of peas, this dish isn’t as expensive as it sounds. Indeed, the entire frittata should set one back no more than £2.40. Though, it did cost us even less since we keep chickens.