Everyday Celebrations: Asparagus and Basil Frittata

Cover recipe from Everyday Celebrations by Donata Maggipinto, Copyright 2005
Asparagus and Basil Frittata
Celebrations4It may be relevant to note that I picked up this little cookbook in my local grocery store’s bargain bin.  I’m always a little skeptical of things found on clearance… figuring there surely must be something wrong with a product for it to have ended up in such a place, practically begging to be bought.  On the back of the book, the author is described as an Entertaining Expert.  She shares her sensational craft and food recipes for seasonal decorating and heartwarming gatherings in your home.  For $5.99, I was easily sold. 

The cover focuses more on decor than recipes.  There are two small pictures of food on the cover, and the Asparagus & Basil Frittata is one of them.  This crustless, low carb meal appealed to me because of its fresh, healthy ingredients-perfect for lunch.  The photograph in the cookbook displays a frittata that is fairly thick and fluffy.  Mine didn’t turn out like the picture at all.  Although I liked the frittata a lot (especially with a spoonful of sour cream on top), I had some problems with the recipe (see my notes at the end of this post).  One reviewer on Amazon gave this cookbook a scathing review.  I’m not sure it deserves that, though sometimes I do wonder if publishers turn out some of these little cookbooks without paying close enough attention to the content. 
Celebrations1Asparagus and Basil Frittata
Source:  Everyday Celebrations

Ingredients:
8 eggs
3 Tbsp. whole milk
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
1 Tbsp. grated lemon zest
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
12 asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 3 cups)

Directions:
1.  Preheat the broiler. 
2.  In a large bowl, beat the eggs, milk, cheese, salt, and pepper together until just blended.  In a small bowl, combine the herbs and lemon zest; set aside.
3.  In a 12-inch ovenproof skillet (or 2 smaller skillets), melt the butter with the olive oil over medium-high heat.  When the butter foams, add the onion and cook until soft, about 3 minutes.  Add the asparagus, spreading evenly to cover the bottom of the skillet.  Pour the eggs over the asparagus, reduce the heat to low, and cook until the eggs are just firm around the edges, 4 to 5 minutes.  Using a spatula, lift the edges and tilt the pan to let the uncooked eggs run underneath.  Cook 2 minutes more, then sprinkle the top with half the herb mixture and place under the broiler.  Cook until the top is set and golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes.
4.  Remove the skillet from the oven and run a knife around the edges of the frittata.  Invert a plate on top of the skillet, and holding the plate and skillet together firmly (with potholders), turn them over, releasing the frittata onto the plate.  Sprinkle with the remaining herb mixture.  Cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 6 (as part of a lunch buffet)

Notes from Culinary Covers:
*12 asparagus does not yield anywhere near 3 cups (no matter how large your asparagus are).  Twelve asparagus were just fine for this recipe, but the mention that they should fill 3 cups had me a little frazzled that I didn’t have enough.
*The recipe indicates that a 12-inch pan is appropriate for this frittata.  If a 12-inch pan were used in the recipe testing/food styling, they would not have ended up with a fluffy, thick frittata as pictured.  My frittata (using large eggs) turned out very thin, and if I were serving it to guests as part of a brunch buffet, I’d be embarrassed.  A 10-inch pan should be indicated as the appropriate pan for this recipe.
*The frittata was filled with plenty of herbs, so the addition of even more herbs on top of the frittata was a little bit overkill.  I had quite a bit of the herbs left over.
*With a 12-inch pan, I had difficulty releasing the frittata onto a plate.  It was better to flip onto a cutting board and then use a plate to flip it again (the top was much prettier than the bottom, which was messed up from using the spatula to scrape underneath).
*I’d recommend adding an additional sprinkle of Parmesan on top, along with a drizzle of sour cream.

Did this recipe deserve the cover?  No.  Although it was a delicious frittata, there were too many problems with the recipe as written.  Make the changes indicated in my notes above, and the recipe will be perfect.  If a recipe is chosen for the cover, it really should be able to shine without having to fuss over it.  I practically had to re-write the recipe.

Lori is the founder of RecipeGirl.com. She's a professional recipe developer and food writer, and she's the author of The Recipe Girl Cookbook (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: April 2013). Beyond food, Lori enjoys traveling, being outdoors, running, and maybe even singing a little karaoke. The mountains near Lake Tahoe are home for Lori and her husband of 18 years. They have an 12 year-old son who blogs at RecipeBoy.com.

19 Responses to “Basic Pancakes”

  1. 1

    Emily @ The Southern Belle Blogs — April 20, 2010 @ 10:17 am

    I’ve never made homemade pancakes before, but it is definitely on the top of my list. This recipe looks like a good one to start with and I love that there are even instructions for freezing! My mornings are already so rushed that it would be nice to have something tasty for breakfast.

    Thanks for covering this one!

  2. 2

    VeggieGirl — April 20, 2010 @ 10:22 am

    Can’t beat homemade! Especially with pancakes :)

  3. 3

    Teresa — April 20, 2010 @ 10:24 am

    Lori, excellent reproduction. I love how you’re capturing the essence of each cover you re-create.

  4. 4

    Maria — April 20, 2010 @ 10:28 am

    They look like perfect pancakes to me!

  5. 5

    Judy — April 20, 2010 @ 10:29 am

    Love it Lori! We freeze ours or just refrigerate for a couple of days. The girls heat them up themselves in the toaster. Seems to work fine as well!

  6. 6

    Margaret — April 20, 2010 @ 1:00 pm

    This is sooo similar to the Betty Crocker recipe I have used for years. Only difference = mine uses 1Tbl sugar and 1/4 tsp salt. Guess there aren’t too many ways to put this batter 2gether. Thanks for the tips about freezing, etc.

  7. 7

    Heavenly Housewife — April 20, 2010 @ 1:40 pm

    These look stunning. I live in the UK but I sometimes see this magazine at the bookstore. I’m going to be on the lookout for this tomorrow when I’m at the mall.
    Loved your review.
    *kisses* HH

  8. 8

    Jessy — April 20, 2010 @ 1:45 pm

    Thanks for the tips about freezing pancakes. I’ve never tried doing that before, but it would be nice to have pancakes in the middle of the week, rather than on the weekends only!

  9. 9

    kirbie — April 20, 2010 @ 2:51 pm

    I love the instructions on freezing and storing mix. I never thought to freeze my pancakes!

  10. 10

    Aggie — April 20, 2010 @ 4:01 pm

    I love making pancakes from scratch (a couple of years ago not sure I even knew how!)…I always double or triple the recipe and freeze for the kids’ breakfast. They are always asking for pancakes, so much cheaper this way!

  11. 11

    ThatsSoYummy — April 21, 2010 @ 7:50 am

    Who can really say no to pancakes, they are my favorite!

    Yummy!

    -Natasha

  12. 12

    Paula - bell'alimento — April 21, 2010 @ 7:52 am

    We love pancakes in our house. These look beautiful. Nice & fluffy & light! Hubs usually makes them every Saturday, he’s our official pancake maker ; )

  13. 13

    Jamie — April 21, 2010 @ 9:22 am

    My family loves buttermilk pancakes, and as a mom of two little girls I always make extra to freeze.
    I love what you are doing. I almost always think of you when I am at the check out lane, trying to guess what cover you will feature next.

    • Lori Lange replied: — April 21st, 2010 @ 9:29 am

      Thanks Jamie! It’s definitely fun to get magazines in the mail. Helps me decide what to make for dinner if the covers look good!

  14. 14

    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — April 22, 2010 @ 1:21 pm

    Looks great… I love pancakes, and I’m always happy to have new recipes to try. Love that this one includes so many tips and variations.

  15. 15

    Veronica — April 26, 2010 @ 1:13 am

    Wow, what a great coincidece! I just happen to make these exact pancake recipe this morning for my kids. I used the buttermilk variation and they turned out fluffy and delicious. I didn’t have any left overs to freeze. Next time I will make a double batch and freeze the rest. :)

  16. 16

    Caroline — April 30, 2010 @ 10:44 am

    Thanks for blogging about this recipe!! I have been using Alton Brown’s pancake mix recipe, but I LOVED this recipe this morning. The pancakes were much more fluffy, and the recipe was much less work than Alton Brown’s. This is my new pancake mix! Thanks!

    I love your photos!

  17. 17

    Sonia — May 4, 2010 @ 4:41 am

    OMG! these pancakes looks so fluffy and beautiful! I love pancakes and just had in today morning breakfast. I’ll try yours next time. The notes and tips are awesome. Thanks for sharing them. :)

  18. 18

    Renee @ Awesome on $20 — May 15, 2013 @ 9:47 pm

    I’m always looking for the perfect pancakes. Nobody makes pancakes like my dad, but he’s half an ocean away. I’ll be giving this recipe a shot.

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