Have you ever spent an entire day in a jumpy house with a 7 year-old? Let me just tell you, for the sake of science, that it is possible to pull every sinlge muscle in your body at the same time, especially when, inspired by giggling, 7 year-old cries of “Do it again!,” you demonstrate your NBA-style, windmilling slam dunk on the jumpy house baskbetball net about 847 times.
My friend Kami celebrated her 7th birthday a couple of weeks ago and yesterday her parents threw her a birthday party, complete with seven little girls, a few of their parents, a scavenger hunt, a piñata, make-your-own-sundaes, a jumpy house, and me. To say that the day was fun would be an understatement: the weather was perfect, the food delicious, the parents relaxed, the kids well-behaved yet having a glorious time. To say that the jumpy house was fun would also be an uderstatement: the thing was a blast. Jumping, flailing, sliding, basketball, broad jump, gymnastics, karate, frog leaps, slam dunks, running around in circles like crazy chickens: we did it all. To say that I was physically unprepared for 8 hours of jumpy house action? Massive understatement.
One of the (few) drawbacks to working from home is this: yoga pants always fit. A long winter of cooking and eating delicious food, plus lots of stormy weather and little opportunity for outdoor exercise, had a predictable impact on my waistline, that nevertheless went unnoticed by my typical work day attire: yoga pants. It’s safe to say that a full day in a jumpy house with a high-energy 7 year-old would test the mettle of most 43 year-olds, but I am seriously out of shape. If I want to be fit for a great summer of hiking, climbing, kayaking and jumpy house fun, I need to get back to my regular routine eating sensibly and getting plenty of exercise. If a day of jumpy house play was a great start (insert groan-worthy “jump start” pun here) to my Spring exercise regime, then this frittata is its diet counterpart: light and delicious, packed full of Spring vegetables, very flavorful while a bit lighter on fat and calories than my typical version.
I replaced about half of the eggs in this frittata with egg whites (frozen leftovers from a double-batch of lime curd this winter), and left out the usual sausage, which not only gave the frittata a lovely light texture, but allowed the delicate flavor of wild ramps and first Spring asparagus to shine through. A happy coincidence is that each serving is lighter in calories as well, without sacrificing so much fat as to render the dish tasteless and unsatisfying. Because jumpy house season is only beginning and I aim to be up to the challenge. Now excuse me while I treat myself to a slice of delicious, Springy frittata, two Advil, and a long, hot bath.
- 3 – 6 tbsp olive oil, butter or bacon grease
- 2 lbs potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled, chopped into 1-inch dice
- 6 large stalks asparagus (about 6 oz)
- 1 medium bunch ramps (about 8 oz), trimmed, bulbs sliced thinly and greens roughly chopped
- 3 scallions, sliced thinly, white & green parts separated
- 2 tbsp chopped garlic chives (or regular chives)
- 2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
- 6 large eggs
- 8 egg whites, about 1 cup (or an additional 4 whole eggs)
- 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- dash of Tabasco or pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup packed grated cheese (I used Toussaint from Sprout Creek, an Alpine-style semi-firm raw cow’s milk cheese; Gruyère or Swiss would be a substitute)
- Heat oil in a large, oven-safe skillet (I used a tall-sided 9 and 1/2-inch; a 10 to 12-inch skillet would work fine) over medium heat. Add potatoes and stir to coat in oil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender and browned, about 15 – 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables: trim woody ends off of the asparagus spears. Trim about 3 inches off of the top (you’ll use the delicate spears for the top of the fritatta); then slice the stalks to about 1/2-inch pieces.
- Remove cooked potatoes to a clean plate. Add more oil to the skillet if necessary and, once hot, add chopped asparagus stalks (if stalks are fat, like mine, add them a few minutes before adding the thinner spears) and spears, stir to coat in oil, then sauté over low medium-low heat until bright green and crisp-tender, about 3 – 4 minutes. Remove to the potato plate.
- Combine eggs, egg whites, scallion greens, chives, parsley, salt, pepper and Tabasco in a medium bowl. Whisk until eggs are beaten and uniform. Add in about half of the cheese and whisk one more time. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Heat oil in skillet to medium (add more if necessary), then add ramp bulbs and white scallions. Sauté until softened, about 2 – 3 minutes, then add ramp greens, stirring to coat, and sauté until wilted and bright green, about 2 minutes. Add asaparagus stalks (reserve spears) and potatoes; mix to distribute evenly. Shake the pan to level the vegetables; whisk the eggs one last time then pour evenly over the vegetables in the skillet. Tilt the pan to level the eggs, then sprinkle the remaining cheese across the top and place the asparagus spears decoratively around the top, pressing them into the eggs slightly with a wooden spoon.
- Reduce the heat to low and allow to cook on the stovetop until firm around the edges, about 5 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven and bake until the frittata is puffed, golden and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 – 30 minutes. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before removing from the pan. To remove from a straight-sided pan, invert onto a plate, then re-invert onto your serving platter. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- This is a very light, Springy frittata; while I normally make them with whole eggs, I like this one with half egg whites. It lightens up the flavor and allows the ramp and asparagus to shine. And you can always make curd with the extra yolks!
- Most anything goes in a frittata; I love a hearty kale & sausage frittata as much as the next girl, but this one is deliberately lighter in flavor. Herbs, cheese and vegetables that you add should bear that in mind.
Refrigerated for up to 5 days.