When I’m pressed for time and stressed to boot, I turn to old favorites — recipes I’ve made time and again, so I know that the result will be both tasty and satisfying. Recipes like Pasta with Quick Tomato Sauce, Potato-Broccoli Soup and of course, Frittata.
A frittata is like an omelet, except it’s easier to make. And you can put more stuff in it, so it makes for a heartier meal. And it keeps really well, so you can have it for dinner and for breakfast the next day. It even tastes good cold. So I’d have to say that the frittata is the pizza of egg dishes. It’s even Italian!
What makes a frittata different than an omelet is the cooking method. The frittata is started on top of the stove, just like an omelet, but it is finished in the oven. No finicky flipping or folding is required. One good-sized frittata will satisfy 2 people for dinner or brunch, probably with leftovers. Or cool the frittata to room temperature, cut into small wedges and serve as an appetizer to 4 or more.
Before I start cooking, I scour my fridge and pantry to see what I might want to toss into my frittata. Because a frittata comes out like a puffed egg pie, it can handle a variety of hearty ingredients, unlike the more delicate omelet. I usually choose 2-5 additions, depending on what I have on hand, including any of the following:
- aromatics, of course, such as onions, leeks, garlic, peppers and mushrooms
- other vegetables to sauté with the aromatics — perhaps potatoes (thinly sliced), spinach, cherry tomatoes or zucchini
- sausage, either ground or sliced
- stuff from the pantry, such as artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, even smoked salmon
- cheese, grated or crumbled
- fresh herbs
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil or butter over medium in a 10-inch, oven-proof, nonstick skillet. Sauté the filling ingredients, if necessary.
Beat 6 eggs with salt, pepper, cheese and fresh herbs. Spread the filling out into a single layer in the pan and pour the eggs over. Stir the eggs with a rubber spatula gently until they start to set; as they set, lift the edges and tilt the skillet to let the uncooked egg run underneath.
When the bottom is set and the top is no longer really runny, transfer the skillet to the oven and cook until the top is set and puffed, about 5 minutes. Cut into wedges to serve.