Spring into frittatas

Spinach-Mushroom Frittata (Photo provided — Yvona Fast)

May is National Egg Month — and for good reason! As days lengthen, birds lay eggs. That includes chickens — the eggs we eat most. Though other eggs, like duck eggs, are also consumed.

Spring is time for fresh, tender asparagus. I just bought some from my favorite farm stand.

Spring is also the time for fresh greens. Fresh, tender spinach, chard, arugula, dandelions and other greens are plentiful in gardens and along roadways.

Both asparagus and greens go well with eggs in omelets, quiches and my favorite — frittatas.

I like frittatas because they’re so easy to put together. Quiche is a bit more complicated — it needs a crust, and it has to bake. Omelets require complicated folding and can be hard to get just right. But frittatas are a throw-together dish.

Many recipes recommend using a pan you can transfer from the stovetop into the oven; this makes it easier to cook the top. But it really is not necessary. I have found a skillet with a tight-fitting lid, on low heat, works just as well — at least when I’m only making the dish for the two of us.

I also like to stuff my frittatas with lots of veggies — more than most recipes. With a high veggie/low egg ratio, it cooks a bit faster. Unless you’re using leftover veggies, you will need to steam or cook them first.

Veggies are superfoods. Fresh spring greens, like spinach, are low in calories and rich in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins (especially A and C) and minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron and copper. Spinach has very high concentrations of lutein, the bright yellow pigment found in many dark green leafy vegetables, which helps prevent age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness. New research suggests lutein may also guard against heart attacks by inhibiting the adhesion of cholesterol to artery walls. Asparagus contains more folic acid than any other vegetable. It is also a good source of vitamins A, C, B6, and thiamine, is rich in potassium, and has lots of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant.

Eggs are a superfood too. They contain high-quality protein, with all of the essential amino acids. Egg yolks are one of the few food sources of vitamin D. They also supply choline, which is important to the health of both the nervous and cardiovascular system. The antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, important for both eyes and brain, are also found in eggs. The fatty acids in eggs are healthy omega-3s, which are good for your heart, skin, and digestion.

So get out your skillet. Steam some greens or some asparagus. Beat up some eggs. And combine it all together for a delicious supper or brunch.

We like to serve frittatas with potatoes — boiled, mashed, or fried — but you can also eat them with a nice baguette or hearty whole-grain bread.

Spinach-Mushroom Frittata


1 slice bacon

1/2 onion

About 4 ounces baby portabella mushrooms

10 oz. fresh baby spinach

3 eggs

1/2 cup broth, milk or water (or combination)

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoons freshly grated Cheddar cheese, optional

Fresh baguette or boiled potatoes, for serving


Cook bacon in skillet until crisp: remove and drain on paper towels. Reserve.

Add onion and mushrooms to bacon drippings, and cook on low 5-15 minutes, until soft and golden.

Add washed baby spinach to skillet with the onion, cover and cook on medium-low until tender and wilted — just a couple of minutes.

Beat eggs with salt and liquid. Pour evenly over spinach and veggies. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese, if using. Cover and cook on very low heat until the eggs set, about 5 minutes.

Serves 2 – 3.

Option: substitute Swiss chard, beet greens, or dandelion greens for spinach.

Simple Asparagus Frittata


1/2 bunch asparagus

3 eggs

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup cottage cheese

1 – 2 Tablespoons shredded mild cheese (like gruyere or Swiss)

Optional: a couple tablespoons minced chives, or a couple tablespoons diced cooked ham


To prepare asparagus, break off the tough bottom end of each spear, and discard. Rinse under running water. Bring 1/2 cup water to a boil in a large skillet with lid. Add asparagus, lower heat to simmer and cook until tender, about 2 to 7 minutes. (This will depend on how fresh the asparagus is). Cool.

While asparagus is cooking, beat together eggs with salt in a bowl. Beat in cottage cheese. Beat in any liquid left in the skillet the asparagus cooked in.

Slice asparagus into 1-inch pieces.

Add a teaspoon of butter or oil to the skillet asparagus cooked in; coat bottom of pan. Add the asparagus in a single layer. Sprinkle with the Swiss cheese, and pour egg mixture over asparagus. Turn skillet to spread mixture evenly. Sprinkle chives or ham over top, if using. Cover, and cook on low until eggs are set, about 5 minutes.

Serve with boiled potatoes and a salad of fresh spring greens. Serves 2.

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Author of the award-winning cookbook “Garden Gourmet: Fresh & Fabulous Meals from your Garden, CSA or Farmers’ Market,” Yvona Fast lives in Lake Clear and has two passions: cooking and writing. She can be found at www.yvonafast.com and reached at yvonawrite@yahoo.com or on Facebook at Words Are My World.


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