After an impromptu trip to Atlanta last week, I’m finally back in Los Angeles. Last Tuesday, I hopped on a plane with a buddy pass and made the quick trip back to the east coast. Though it breezed by quickly as always, I welcomed and fully enjoyed my time at home after what has been a somewhat unpredictable couple of months.
There’s something therapeutic about coming ‘home’ to my mother’s house—my first home. Although both our lives and the house itself always seem to be in an constant state of change, it still feels like home in that illusive yet perfect sort of way. It’s altogether comforting, and I find that I appreciate it even more as time passes.
These days, visits home are typically filled with afternoons and evenings in the kitchen. It’s the implicit gathering place in my mother’s house, and time spent cooking and communing is even more enjoyable following last year’s total kitchen renovation. It’s my absolute pleasure to cook for my mom, partly because I didn’t become interested in cooking until my college years and subsequently didn’t spend ample time cooking with her as a kid. It also doesn’t hurt that I inherited her affinity for wine and cheese, which are the best kind of snacks for good company and lots of cooking.
Like a true Southern Belle, my mom’s tried and true cooking methods lean more towards the traditional and therefore differ from those that I have adopted in the last few years. Rather than causing contention in our kitchen chemistry, these differences have been a great source of education for both of us. While she has instilled in me a deep love of pickled things, southern greens, and cornbread, I in turn have had the great honor of teaching her how to throw together quick, healthful, and easy dishes.
Though the many hours in the kitchen this week yielded several memorable meals, I think both of us came away with a clear favorite: a mid-week lunchtime frittata. I explained to my mom why I love frittatas so much and make them so often, among these reasons being the ease of preparation and customization, the versatility of potential ingredients, and the foolproof deliciousness that frittatas are known for.
It seems like everyone has their own opinion on the correct preparation of frittatas: cheese or no cheese, heavy cream or milk, stovetop or oven, and so on. After some experimentation, I settled on the following method and have stuck with it ever since.
The frittata we made was packed with fresh asparagus, baby portabella mushrooms, and freshly grated sharp white cheddar. Hence the customizability factor inherent to frittatas, these vegetables can be swapped for whatever is hanging out in your fridge or on your countertops, and the cheese can be traded for creamy goat, another hard variety, or omitted entirely (though never in my household!).
As an added bonus, required kitchen tools are at a minimum, including only one medium-sized cast-iron skillet and a mixing bowl. Three cheers for fewer dishes to wash!
1 bunch asparagus, rinsed and chopped into bite-size pieces
1 8oz. carton baby bella mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
½ cup white cheddar cheese, grated
1 tomato, sliced
5 large free-range organic eggs
¼ cup milk of choice (we used regular unsweetened almond milk)
sea salt & cracked pepper
1. Preheat oven to 375*. Begin by heating about a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat in your skillet. Once hot, add mushrooms, season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder, and sauté, stirring only occasionally, until mushrooms are golden, about 5-10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, whisk together eggs, milk, and half the cheese in your mixing bowl. Once the mushrooms are done, simply add them to the egg mixture.
3. Returning to your skillet, sauté the asparagus pieces, adding more oil if needed and additional seasonings, until crisp-tender, for another 5 minutes. Add cooked asparagus to the egg and mushroom mixture.
4. Stir the mixture of eggs and vegetables to combine. Clean out your skillet in the sink, return to the stovetop, and either spray well with cooking spray or coat with olive oil.
5. Gently pour mixture into the greased skillet, arrange tomatoes on top, and sprinkle the remaining cheese.
6. Cook over low heat for about 5 minutes on the stovetop, or until you can see the surface beginning to bubble.
6. Place the skillet in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes. Turn the broiler function on at the end of the 15 minutes to lightly brown the top and set the egg mixture completely, about 1-2 minutes.
7. Remove from oven and allow to cool before slicing into wedges and serving.
I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
Does your family still live where you grew up?
What are your favorite frittata fillings?