Blanching is one of my favorite ways to prepare spring vegetables. Briefly cooked in salted, boiling water and then shocked in an ice water bath, the food tastes clean. Salt – my favorite ingredient – is what brings out the natural flavor. Have your ice bath prepared before you begin cooking the asparagus.
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces asparagus, woody ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
8 large eggs
1 batch Salted Ricotta
Freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces prosciutto
Preheat the broiler. Heat a large pot of heavily salted water (it should taste like the ocean) over high heat until boiling. Drop in the asparagus and blanch for 2 minutes, or until crisp tender. Using a slotted spoon or spider remove asparagus and place in an ice bath. Once asparagus is cold, drain well. Pat dry with paper towels. You don’t want excess water in the frittata.
In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs with a fork and season with 2 teaspoons salt. Mix in the asparagus then fold in the ricotta using a rubber spatula. You don’t want the ricotta completely blended into the eggs but instead in globs that range from the size of a pea to a quarter.
Heat a 10-inch ovenproof skillet over high heat. Once hot add the olive oil. When the olive oil begins to shimmer carefully swirl the oil so it coats the bottom and sides of the pan. Pour the egg, asparagus and ricotta mixture into the pan. Place a tight-fitting lid on the skillet and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until the frittata is set on the bottom and sides yet is still runny on top, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the lid and place the skillet under the broiler to continue cooking until the frittata is just set and top is no longer runny, about 1 to 5 minutes. Every broiler is different so don’t walk away while it cooks! Large, professional ovens can finish this frittata in a minute or less while my 24-inch oven’s broiler drawer can take closer to 5.
Remove frittata from broiler and let rest for five minutes before serving. It’s delicious hot, cold or at room temperature. Finish frittata with freshly ground black pepper and serve with slices of prosciutto.
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