The Magic of Frittata
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Ask me for any recipe, meal recommendation, or simply bring up food in my presence lately and I’ve only got one word for you: frittata. A few months back, I discovered the magic of this one-pan recipe, and now it’s a weekly staple. It’s easy to improvise the main flavors no matter what vegetables you have on-hand (or are just looking to clean out your fridge before things turn bad). I don’t shy away from fudging the egg-milk ratio if I’m short one or the other. I'm even okay with sharing these rough-looking iPhone photos I took because I just want you to be excited about frittata with me!
I based my now tried-and-true frittata recipe off of a number of recipe blogs I’m known to frequent, as well as a slightly-fuzzy memory of omelets my friends and I used to make in college. The main inspiration for this recipe, though, came from my very favorite recipe blog, Cookie & Kate. Here’s the fabulous recipe that served as my baseline jumping-off point. If you’ve never heard of Cookie & Kate before, I encourage you to try any one of her recipes (seriously, any of them) and you’ll be a devoted follower in no time.
Ok, so here’s my general frittata breakdown:
6 large eggs
¼ cup milk, maybe even less
Veggies, chopped up quite small
Greens, if you’re into it
CHEESE, highly encouraged
Salt & pepper (probably about ¼ tsp of each, maybe a little more)
Seasoned cast-iron pan, pretty much non-negotiable (here's the one I use and adore)
Preheat your oven to 425F. Direct from C&K’s recipe – this is the perfect temp you’ll need for finishing off your frittata in the oven.
Chop up your veggies, and you’re going to want them nice and small. Tiny-cube-sized (no need for exactness, though). It’s best to get this out of the way first. As far as which veggies, the sky’s the limit! Sweet potatoes are great (as in C&K’s recipe), butternut squash is excellent, shiitake mushrooms are delightful. I bet red bell pepper or broccoli would be delicious. You don’t need a ton of whatever you choose – you’re basically just going to fill your cast-iron pan in one layer with the veggie. What I usually do is cut up the entirety of the veggie into tiny cubes, and then whatever’s left over, store in the fridge in glass containers for sauteing for breakfast, lunch, or dinner throughout the week. At this time, chop up your greens too, if you’re using them. I’ve made this with no greens before and it’s still excellent. But it’s a delight to have them included, too. Best choice is probably spinach, as C&K recommends, but I bet it’d be great with kale, too. Anyway, the greens you choose can be very roughly chopped – they just need to be a little smaller than they usually come.
Scramble the eggs, milk, and salt & pepper in a medium bowl. Only have 5 eggs on-hand? No problem – just add a little more milk. 4 eggs might be tricky and not coat the veggies properly later, so try not to do less than 5. Also, in my opinion, forks scramble better than whisks. I’d probably get rid of my whisks if the opportunity arose. Don’t @ me (actually, do – I love talking about cooking).
Let’s address the cheese now. This recipe is best with not one but two cheeses. So take a block of your favorite sharp cheddar (standard, peppery, you name it) and grate a hearty amount of it. Half the block might be too much (I’m not stopping you though), but ⅓ block is a good call. Stir this into your scrambled eggs. The other cheese you’re going to want, as recommended in C&K’s recipe, is goat cheese. Just set it aside for now.
Take your cast-iron skillet and heat it up on medium-low for 2 mins (you always do this anyway, right? You know how this goes). Pour in a bit of olive oil. Now add your chopped up whatever-vegetable-you-chose (but not the greens yet!) in a pretty even layer, taking up the entirety of the pan. Toss ‘em around a bit, and add a dash of salt and pepper. Now cover the pan with a lid. Set a timer for 10 minutes, although you may not need all 10. This is going to steam your veggies and crisp the edges! Carefully - watch out for steam! - remove the lid periodically and stir. Test veggies with a fork until they are cooked through. Remove the lid and toss ‘em around a bit more to fry the edges further, if they don’t seem caramelized enough.
If you’re adding greens, do it now. You’ll only need to stir them around for a minute or two. Add lid back if they’re not wilting.
Ok! You’re almost done now! Re-stir your scrambled eggs n’ cheese mixture, then pour it into the cast-iron where all these cooked veggies/greens already live. Once the eggs are poured in, I like to take a wooden spoon (or whatever you were using to stir the veggies) and stir everything around so it’s evenly distributed throughout the eggs.
Take the goat cheese you set aside and drop big globs of it all over the top of the frittata. Use your fingers, it’s fun! Feel free to add other seasonings atop the frittata as well – a little Herbes de Provence is nice, or maybe more pepper? Follow your heart.
There is no more work involved! Stick the cast iron into the oven and set a timer for 12 minutes. 12 - 18 minutes is the cooktime recommended by C&K. I’ve found that 15 is pretty much ideal. I like the top of the frittata to be just slightly golden. You do you!
Take it out of the oven. It should be beautifully puffy right now! Take a photo, ‘cause it’s going to collapse in a sec. Let it rest for a few mins, then take a non-metal spatula and divide it up. My partner and I usually end up eating almost the entire thing in one sitting. Definitely add Cholula hot sauce (as C&K recommends because she’s brilliant). Serve it with hot buttered toast on the side if you want to feel extra cozy.
Oh, and I almost forgot! The college-inspired spinoff (thanks to my friend Lauren who always made it for us!): fill your frittata with tiny apple cubes, onion & cheese instead. The only caveat being that you have to use a separate pan for the apple (toss it in butter and cinnamon) to achieve the right flavoring. (You don’t want your onions to be cinnamon-y, I promise.)
Wasn’t that fun and easy? And the absolute perfect meal? Let us know your favorite frittata add-ins in the comments.