Asparagus and feta fritatta on a plate with rocket and tomato on the side. Asparagus and feta fritatta on a plate with rocket and tomato on the side.

Asparagus – benefits and recipe

Green asparagus; seen from aboveAsparagus is Britain’s spring specialty, but with foods now originating from all corners of the world throughout most of the year, you could be forgiven for not knowing that this incredibly versatile and nutritious vegetable is in season in Britain around late April. 

Spring is the time when farmers markets get busier and brighter in colour, and all sorts of wonderful locally sourced produce start to crowd out winter root vegetables, offering inspiration for anyone from occasional food-lovers to chefs and alike.  

Carrots, sorrel, radish and asparagus compete for their spotlight on spring market stalls, but it’s asparagus that we are excited about. It’s vibrant colour, delicate flavour and humble look, means asparagus can be used as ‘a blank canvas’ or a ‘star’ of any recipe or meal.  Rich in vitamin K which support healthy blood clotting as well as folate that’s essential for pregnant women or those trying to conceive, asparagus is also a good source of copper and vitamin B1, which supports glucose metabolism and brain health. 

Asparagus and Feta Frittata recipe:

This is one of those all round dishes that is perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner or picnics.

Summary

Serves 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Wheat Free, Gluten Free, Vegetarian

Preheat oven to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas Mark 6

Ingredients

  • 400g asparagus
  • 2 teaspoons groundnut oil
  • 200g new potatoes, skin on, cooked and sliced
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • ½ banana shallot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 6 fresh free range eggs at room temperature
  • 80g feta cheese, crumbled
  • small bunch chives, roughly chopped
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons groundnut oil
  • 2 handfuls mixed salad leaves, washed

Preparation

  • Remove the woody ends of the asparagus by bending them and snapping where they break naturally. Discard the woody stalk and cut the remaining stem into pea size pieces. Heat the oil in a pan. Add the potatoes and cook for 3 minutes, then add the asparagus and cook for a further 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  • Whisk the red wine vinegar and olive oil together in a large bowl to make a dressing. Season with ground black pepper. Add the tomatoes and shallot and set aside while you cook the frittata.
  • Break the eggs into a bowl, add the feta cheese and beat lightly together. Stir in the chives and season with ground black pepper.
  • Heat the grill to high. Heat the oil in a 20cm frying pan. Add the egg mixture and cook for 2 minutes stirring gently. Stir in the potatoes and asparagus and cook over a low heat, loosening the egg from the side until just setting (it should still be quite runny). When the base is golden pop the frying pan under the grill and cook for 2-3 minutes until set.
  • Mix the salad leaves and tomatoes together until well combined in the dressing.

To serve

  • Loosen the frittata from the pan with a fish slice and flip it over onto a chopping board. Cut into wedges and serve with the tomato and mixed leaf salad

Jennifer’s Tip

To make it fit with the seasons, substitute the asparagus with peas, broad beans or edamame beans instead.

Asparagus and feta fritatta on a plate with rocket and tomato on the side.

This recipe is from Jennifer’s book, The Diet for Food Lovers available on Amazon (The Orion Publishing Group)
Jean Cazals Photography