The Washington Post

Oven Asparagus Puff

Oven Asparagus Puff 4.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Oct 10, 2017

This is a slightly richer, possibly more elegant take on a frittata. Its crowning glory is a crust of Muenster cheese, which has mozzarella’s melting powers with a sharper, nuttier flavor to recommend it.

Consider putting mushrooms, spinach or broccoli in here for an alternate take. Serve as a light lunch or supper.

To read the accompanying story, see: These three cookbooks went viral before the Internet existed — and they still hold up today.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings

  • 12 ounces to 1 pound asparagus
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Muenster cheese


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Peel and roll-cut asparagus (to taste; see NOTE, below) into 1-inch pieces. You should have 2 cups.

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a saute pan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, until softened.

Add the asparagus, sprinkle with the sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt; stir-fry for 1 minute, then add the water, cover and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, moving the pan to keep the asparagus from sticking. (This step should brighten the color of the vegetable.) Uncover and cook for a few minutes, until the pan liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat to cool slightly.

Whisk together the eggs, cream, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and the pepper (to taste) in a mixing bowl.

Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in an ovenproof baking dish (10 inches square) set inside a larger skillet on the stove top, or in a 10-inch ovenproof skillet. Pour in the egg mixture and cook for about 3 minutes over medium heat until just the bottom has set.

Arrange the asparagus and onions in a single layer on top of the egg mixture. Transfer to the oven (if you used the baking dish, you can leave the skillet behind). Bake (middle rack) for 5 minutes, then remove from the oven to top the dish with the grated cheese. Return to the oven and bake for 15 to 25 minutes, until puffed and the cheese has lightly browned.

Serve right away.

NOTE: To roll-cut asparagus, give each spear a one-quarter turn as you cut it on the diagonal each time, into 1-inch sections. (The facets this creates will lend more texture to the dish.)

Recipe Source

Adapted from “The Victory Garden Cookbook,” by Marian Morash (Alfred A. Knopf, 1982).

Tested by Charlotte Druckman and Kara Elder.

Email questions to the Food Section.

Email questions to the Food Section at

Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 450

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 39g 60%

Saturated Fat: 22g 110%

Cholesterol: 375mg 125%

Sodium: 970mg 40%

Total Carbohydrates: 6g 2%

Dietary Fiber: 2g 8%

Sugar: 4g

Protein: 22g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

Most Read Lifestyle