Sunday, May 20, 2012

ASPARAGUS + DUCK EGG FRITTATA


Happy Sunday everyone! If a springy brunch or simple leisurely weekend supper is calling your name, this recipe may be just what you need.

I'm in love with my new butcher shop - they handle animal products with all the TLC it deserves.  "All of the meat... comes from animals who have been 100% pasture raised, no antibiotics, no hormones, just pure, clean, true meat." Plus, everything is sourced from thoughtful farms within 150 miles.

Each time I walk in, there is so much deliciousness to tempt me: quail, house smoked bacon, goat chops, and the eggs... always the eggs. Once you switch to real farm eggs, it is nearly impossible to go back to the bland, mass-produced industrial kind. Farm eggs have so much more flavor, not to mention the health benefits!

Recently I went to the butcher and they were out of chicken eggs, but they had duck. I'd eaten duck eggs before, but had never cooked with them myself, so I asked Monica if they needed any special treatment. She encouraged me to experiment with them in both savory and sweet dishes. We had so much fun making a duck egg scramble for friends. I cooked up some pancakes, and of course this duck egg frittata. The duck eggs didn't disappoint - they were rich, with big fat yokes. I'm going back for more!

 INGREDIENTS
(printable recipe)
  • 1/2 cup asparagus, sliced and steamed
  • 1 tablespoon (+ 1 teaspoon) olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot, or spring onion
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced leeks
  • sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 duck eggs or 4 chicken eggs
  • 2 tablespoons salty feta
  • 4 teaspoons chopped mixed fresh herbs: tarragon, parsley, and chervil are nice

Slice and steam asparagus. Set aside.

In a small saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Saute shallot and leeks for 3-5 minutes, but do not brown. Add steamed asparagus to the bubbling mixture. Saute veggies for another minute. Remove from heat, salt generously to taste, and let cool.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk eggs with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pinch of freshly ground pepper. When veggies have cooled, add them to the eggs and give the whole thing a good stir.

Crumble 2 tablespoons of feta into a little prep bowl and set it near the stove.

Turn on your broiler.

Place a small well-seasoned cast iron, or non-stick frying pan, on the stove top over medium/high heat. (I used a 6 1/2 inch fry pan for cooking - a perfect size for a two person lunch. But you can easily increase the size of the recipe to make a larger frittata.) Add 1 teaspoons of olive oil to the pan. Swirl the hot oil around to thoroughly coat edges of the pan and prevent sticking. Pour out the excess oil. Put oiled pan back on stove for 30 seconds over medium high to make sure it's nice and hot. Then pour egg mixture into the hot pan and turn the heat down to medium/low. Sprinkle feta over the top of the eggs.

Let the frittata cook on the stove top until you see that all of the edges have cooked, and are starting separate from the sides of the pan. Stick the pan under the broiler to finish cooking the top of the frittata. Keep an eye on it  - you want the eggs to be just cooked, but not well done. A nice moist frittata is what you are looking for.

Let the frittata cool to room temp. Sprinkle with herbs and serve with a simple green salad.

For more eggiliciousness, go here...



Serves 2


63 comments:

  1. A delicious frittata! I'd love to taste duck eggs.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Rosa! Duck eggs are a wonderful ingredient and super versatile too. I just fried up a duck egg for my son's breakfast. You only need one:)
      xo
      E

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  2. What a beautiful frittata and a perfect Sunday morning breakfast for two. I need to head out to Berkeley, which is not that far and check out your butcher shop - it looks amazing. Hope you and your family are having a terrific weekend. The weather is stunning!!!

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    1. Lisa, a trip to Berkeley to hit The Local Butcher would make you so happy! And why not go to The Cheeseboard right around the corner.... And maybe lunch at Chez Panisse?... Sounds like a tasty day.
      I am so loving this sunshine - the Bay Area at it's best. Wishing you a great day!
      xo
      E

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  3. I've been thinking about trying duck eggs and seeing this dish makes me wonder why I haven't done it yet. Gorgeous!

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    1. Denise, I feel the same way about duck eggs. Now that I've bought them a few times, I'm hooked:)

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  4. Looks delicious! Can you comment on the flavor of duck eggs? Is it very different from chicken? The Vietnamese market near my house stocks duck and quail eggs, I was thinking about experimenting with both!

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    1. We've played around with both quail and duck. The quail were just too tiny for me (thought maybe I should try again.) The duck's flavor is very much like chicken, but with much bigger yokes that intensify the flavor and weigh the balance of the egg toward the yokiness. I have been substituting duck eggs into all sorts of things and love the richness.
      I'd love to hear about your experimentation too.

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  5. My frittatas always stick to the pan. Do you have any suggestions for me?

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    1. Jane, I had that problem for years too. Plenty of oil and a hot (but not smoking) pan seems to make all the difference.

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  6. AnonymousMay 20, 2012

    Yummmmmmmmm....Your dish looks like sunshine. I think some bubbles and a salad would be amazing with this dish. Would you have a salad to recommend? I keep meaning to go to the butcher, but haven't yet. You have inspired me. Thank you for the beauty.

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    1. What a sweet comment! Sunshine? I love that. And eggs do feel like sunshine to me, especially with those big orange yokes:)

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  7. This frittata really looks awesome! Actually, I realise I never had duck eggs! It would be a perfect way to start!

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    1. Kim, I'm so into duck eggs now that I've tried them. I hope you'll give 'em a go. Even a simple duck egg scramble is delish!

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  8. I've eaten duck eggs in a local cafe but never cooked with them myself. I know they have a lovely rich, yolky flavour though and am tempted to try them in baking. First stop though, this frittata, it looks divine :-)

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    1. thelittleloaf, with all that amazing baking you do, I think you will go crazy for duck eggs! I cannot wait to hear what you think of them.
      xo
      E

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  9. Oh my word, you have a blue skillet. That is the cutest!

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    1. Ellen, My hubby bought that skillet for me recently at our local thrift shop and I have to say it played a big role in inspiring this post. Not only is it a cutie, it works great! The enamel interior is a great non-toxic non-stick.

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  10. So so so in love. With the blue skillet, with the frittata with the skillet and the eggs. And the skillet. LOVE.

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    1. Thanks so much Bev! I am in love with my little skillet too:)

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  11. The looks wonderful, my Aunt has a bunch of ducks and she made a cake with duck eggs. It's a very rich taste. Beautiful pictures...thank you...I am healing well.

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    1. Oli, I'm so glad you are healing. I bet you are gonna feel like a new woman soon:)A duck egg cake... I bet that was awesome!

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  12. I just love the word eggiliciousness!

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  13. It's finally asparagus season here in Ontario. I can't wait to use them in this frittata! My mom used to make us duck eggs as a treat when we were kids but now I can't find them anywhere in Toronto :(

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    1. Phon, Toronto is such a cool city, duck eggs have got to pop up somewhere for you soon. Thanks again for your beautiful review - so appreciated!

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  14. That looks beyond delicious. I can't get enough of asparagus at this time of year. And paired with farm-fresh eggs, it's even more magical.

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    1. Me too Carolyn! We are eating asparagus every which way around here:)

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  15. I consider myself the "Fritatta Queen" and am impressed with your technique. It also happens to be mine as well, as learned from a vintage Italian cook. LOVE the addition of feta....was thinking asiago might be nice as well. Oh, and then there's always LAMB CHOPPER! Keep up the amazing work. I forward these to my foodie girls, hopefully they've signed up.
    Yours in foodaliciousness....Wild Iris Rose

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  16. I consider myself the "Fritatta Queen" and am impressed with your technique. It also happens to be mine as well, as learned from a vintage Italian cook. LOVE the addition of feta....was thinking asiago might be nice as well. Oh, and then there's always LAMB CHOPPER! Keep up the amazing work. I forward these to my foodie girls, hopefully they've signed up.
    Yours in foodaliciousness....Wild Iris Rose

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    1. Iris "The Frittata Queen," Thanks for the fabulous note. And I'm psyched that my technique is inline with old Italian style. Trial and error was my learning and it took me to this happy place.
      And... Lamb Chopper in a frittata - that sounds amazing. Next time:)

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  17. dreamy and beautiful. and thanks for the eggilicious shout out. so amazing to be sharing all of this with you. lots of love!

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    1. Thanks Love. It is always fun when we are on the same page in our kitchens - which is often:)
      xxoo

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  18. The last restaurant I worked at used to use lots of fresh duck eggs. A friend of the owners used to bring them in from their farm. They are great for baking eh?! Such beautiful rich yolks. How great to be able to get them from your local butcher. I've not seen them anywhere around here... xx

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  19. The last restaurant I worked at used to use them all the time. A friend of the owners would bring them in from their farm. They are amazing when used in baking eh! Such lovely big rich yolks. How lucky for you that you can get them locally, I've not seen them for sale anywhere around here... xx

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    1. Emma, I am really into those huge rich yokes. Both my husband and one of my best friends are yoke lovers, making the duck egg yoke/white ratio dreamy. I hope you can get your hands on some again soon.
      xxoo
      E

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  20. I love your teal blue pan--so lovely for spring. I buy duck eggs whenever I have the chance--the yolks are so large it's a little disconcerting when you are used to chicken eggs, isn't it? They are wonderful for baking...I'm hoping to find some again soon.

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    1. Sara, so true... it is a bit outrageous to see those huge yokes.

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  21. I'd love to have an excellent (read: quaint) butcher around the corner, but given the lack of population, I'm more than satisfied with the great (read: local) selection of meat at the grocery store.

    And although I haven't had any duck eggs lately, I just received 2 dozen eggs from some new farm acquaintances down the road. Now to find a wee cute skillet like yours.

    What a story from Phyllis, by the way!

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    1. Emma, Our new butcher is great but to get eggs from a neighbor - that's awesome. My neighbors occasionally give me chicken eggs and I'm always thrilled. Food is the best gift.

      Phyllis is an amazing writer and a damned good cook. We giggled at our frittata connection.

      xo
      E

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  22. atmoseatsMay 22, 2012

    Ok. That pan is so adorable! I love that you have something that functions as the perfect frittata pan. The glorious yellow of those duck eggs plays beautifully with the blue. So cool. Well done on this Yummy Supper.

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    1. Thanks atmoseats. You are too kind!

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  23. I love this recipe, so easy and so satisfying... I'm glad it's asparagus season again :) I'm also curious about those duck eggs, see them at the farmers markets, but haven't had a good reason to try them. Is the flavor much different from chicken eggs?

    beautiful pictures, love the contrast between rich yellow frittata color and blue pan.

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    1. M, I am so happy with all the spring and early fall goodies. Such a treat to hit the market these days.
      I think you'd really enjoy duck eggs. They are just much richer but the flavor is similar to chicken. Think of a chicken egg with a yoke and a half.

      xxoo
      E

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  24. I am mostly vegan, but couldn't resist making that gorgeous frittata. The last one I made stuck to the pan, but I used my cast iron omelet pan and it was perfect. It was as good as it looks! Thank you for the beautiful and inspiring post.

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    1. Jill, so glad to hear your frittata came out nicely. Nothing like working to make a frittata and having it stick to the pan. I've been there!

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  25. This looks heavenly. What a great butcher shop. It's so refreshing to hear places like this exist... where you know exactly what you're getting without having to worry about hormones, steroids, etc.

    Guess what?! I'm hoping to attend a food blog conference in Portland at the end of the summer. I'm can't wait to learn more about what it takes to become a better writer, photographer and cook!

    <3,
    Christina
    www.becauseofmadalene.com

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    1. Christina, I hope you have fun at your conference and get plenty of inspiration!

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  26. Looks super yummy, I love frittata and I love your twist on it!

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    1. Thanks Kristi:) I do love the endless variations possible with frittatas.

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  27. This frittata looks delicious, Erin! I've never cooked with duck eggs before and now I'm very intrigued. I'm thinking I might just have to make this for lunch over the long weekend.

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    1. Laura, enjoy your long weekend... and the frittata:)

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  28. Any combination of asparagus and eggs is my favorite spring brunch. And, I need to get some duck eggs from the farmers' market again soon. They're so rich and delicious. The frittata looks divine!

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    1. Lisa, I totally agree - eggs and asparagus are such a delicious couple. Add a little salty cheese to the mix and you can't go wrong;)

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  29. Erin this looks fabulous! Have a beautiful weekend!

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  30. We've been laying off Sunday waffles for awhile as we all recoop from vacation eating! Frittatas have been a mainstay on Sundays. Yours looks delicious and I wish I had access to duck eggs so I could try them out. I've never had one!

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    1. We are a pancake family ourselves and I know that I always enjoy mixing up the sweet brunches with the savory. Sarah, I think you'd get a kick out of working with duck eggs. Lemme know if you try them. xxoo

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  31. So gorgeous! Somehow, I have never had duck eggs. I am definitely going to look for them at our farmer's market!

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    1. Thanks Jillian! I've been seeing more and more duck eggs lately - I hope you enjoy!

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  32. This looks amazing!! I love your blog and your photography makes me smile. Have a fabulous weekend!

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    1. Thanks so much! Your comment made ME smile. xo

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  33. THis looks so good Erin. I've never had duck eggs before, but I'm going to have to track them down. I love the duck blue skillet in the first photo too.

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So good to hear from you... I appreciate each and every note you leave for me!

Thanks,
E

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