Happy new year! As is the tradition on this blog, at the start of every year, I try to revitalize things around here and motivate myself to post more. I am especially motivated this year because recently I have been getting a lot of visitors and wonderful comments, which has inspired me. I love hearing your ideas, and they do motivate me to get into the kitchen, so keep them coming.
This year, I’m going to focus on posting what I most like to cook: simple, easy recipes with a focus on healthy eating and seasonal ingredients. I will try to post at least one favorite recipe a week, plus tips and tricks as I pick them up.
My favorite recipe for this week is the frittata. A frittata is an Italian omelet. It’s flat and usually thicker than a French-style omelet, with a lot more stuff in it. Making a frittata is a good way to use up those odds and ends of vegetables and cheese that might otherwise get thrown away. You can even throw in leftover pasta, if you like.
I make a frittata about once a week. It fulfills all my requirements for a fast weeknight meal. I can usually make it with the ingredients I have on hand, so a trip to the grocery store isn’t required. It cooks in less than 30 minutes. Often, it can be made without meat, as we try to eat a vegetarian meal at least two or three times weekly. And the leftovers keep beautifully. They are good reheated for breakfast the next day or even cold in a sandwich.
I have tried a lot of frittata recipes from a different cookbooks, and I have gradually worked out a technique that produces good results every time.
- Start with a 10-inch nonstick oven-safe pan (i.e., one with a metal handle, rather than plastic). Pour in a little olive oil and heat the pan over medium. In the meantime, prepare the vegetable filling. Chop up any vegetables you like. For this week’s frittata, I used red onion and spinach. Leftover cooked vegetables are perfectly fine. You could also throw in some cooked meat, if you have any, like bacon or sausage.
- Once the pan is warm, add the chopped vegetables and let them cook until tender or wilted. For onions and spinach, this only takes about 5 minutes. Firmer vegetables will take longer. Pre-cooked vegetables only have to be warmed through.
- While the vegetables are cooking, beat 5 eggs with some salt, pepper and 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced. Once the vegetables are ready, spread them out in the pan and pour the eggs over the top. Turn on the broiler. As the eggs are cooking, lift up the edges with a spatula and let the uncooked egg run to the sides of the pan. You want the eggs to be almost set but still a bit liquid on the top. It may be necessary to turn down the heat to keep the bottom from browning too much.
- When the eggs are almost set, remove the pan from the heat and sprinkle the top with grated cheese. For the frittata this week, I used mozzarella, because that’s what I had. You can do without cheese, but I always add it. It makes the frittata more satisfying, in my opinion.
- Transfer the pan under the broiler and cook until the top is puffy and the cheese is melting and starting to brown. This should take no more than a few minutes. Take it out, cut it into slices and serve with toast.
Note: You don’t have to broil the frittata during the last step. Rather, you can put it into a 350-degree oven and let it finish more slowly. This works fine, but the frittata doesn’t get as puffy and browned, which I prefer. We call it egg pizza!
Leftovers keep for 3 days or so. Try a frittata sandwich for lunch the next day with slices of cold frittata between crusty bread.