Asparagus Frittata with Yogurt Cheese

When this frittata is about half-done, I spoon small dollops of creamy yogurt cheese on top. The egg sets around the yogurt cheese, trapping it in little pools. On another occasion, you could substitute sliced leeks or artichoke bottoms for the asparagus. I enjoy a frittata most when it is warm or room temperature, not hot. I even like it cold in a baguette sandwich with some soft lettuce.  From Yogurt: Sweet and Savory Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner by Janet Fletcher (Ten Speed Press).

  • 1 dozen slender asparagus
  • 6 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup grated pecorino romano or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 2 packed tablespoons minced fresh dill
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup minced green onions, white and pale green parts only
  • 1/4 cup yogurt cheese (labneh, see Note)

Preheat an oven to 375°F and position a rack in the center.

Grasping an asparagus spear in both hands, bend gently so that it breaks at the point where the spear becomes tough. Discard the tough end. Repeat with remaining asparagus. Cut off the asparagus tips and set aside. Slice the remaining part of the spears on the diagonal into 1/2-inch pieces.

Whisk together the eggs, cheese, dill, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and several grinds of black pepper. 

Heat the olive oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add the green onions and the sliced asparagus. Season with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and several grinds of black pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the asparagus have softened slightly, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the egg mixture. Cook for about 5 minutes, then scatter the asparagus tips on the surface, which will still be moist. Place teaspoon-sized dollops of the yogurt cheese on the surface, spacing them evenly and using it all. Continue cooking until the frittata is almost set but still slightly moist, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer to the oven until the surface is just firm to the touch, 3 to 5 minutes longer. Slide the frittata out of the skillet and onto a cutting board and let cool slightly. Serve warm, not hot, in wedges.

Note: You can purchase labneh in Middle Eastern markets, or you can make it easily by draining 2 cups of plain whole-milk yogurt in a sieve lined with a triple thickness of cheesecloth. Set the sieve over a bowl to catch the whey. Cover the sieve with a towel or plate and refrigerate. Drain until the yogurt is reduced to about ¾ cup and is as thick as cream cheese, about 24 hours. Stir in salt to taste.

Serves 4