Recipe: All About Frittatas

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I like to think I’m pretty good at finding easy things to make that LOOK, if not difficult, at least complex.  The frittata is a classic example.  It’s pretty like a cake, full of aesthetically pleasing things like green vegetables and herbs and tomatoes, all set in against the sunshine yellow goodness of cooked egg.  It looks like it comes from the hand of a sophisticated cook, not a dilettante like me.  The above picture is a frittata I made for brunch last summer on a beautiful Sunday morning in Martha’s Vineyard.  As my annual trip to MV is coming up, I am revisiting some of the hits of last summer, stacking up ideas like food ammo.  The best thing about a frittata?  You can throw whatever you want in there, and it will taste good.

Here are two recipes, one for a frittata that’s heavy on vegetables, courtesy of Mark Bittman, and the other a more classic frittata rendition from epicurious.com.

Mark Bittman’s mostly vegetable frittata (to go directly to NY Times article, click here):

I call it, for want of a better term, the more-vegetable-less-egg frittata, one in which the proportions of eggs and vegetables are reversed, and the veggies take center stage.

Instead of six eggs and a cup or two of vegetables, I use two or three eggs with three or four cups of vegetables. Think of it as a big vegetable pancake bound with just enough creamy-cooked eggs to hold the thing together.

Which vegetable you use barely matters. Asparagus is gorgeous and classic, spinach works perfectly (chop it and cook it until it’s dry), zucchini, broccoli (like asparagus, parboil it first), peppers and onions … dare I say there are no limits? I have even made this with foraged samphire (also known as sea beans) and loved it: a pile of salty crunch. You could achieve similar results with chopped snap or snow peas, green or long beans, even garlic scapes.

As in a conventional frittata, cook the eggs slowly, so they stay tender. If the top remains stubbornly runny (less of a problem here than in the more-egg version), run it under the broiler. Then serve it hot or at room temperature.

From epicurious.com, I like this recipe for the Leek and Asparagus Frittata (click here to go to recipe):

Yield: Makes 4 servings

ingredients

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
1 cup chopped leeks (white and pale green parts only)
1 12-ounce bunch thin asparagus, trimmed, cut on diagonal into 1-inch pieces (about 2 1/2 cups)
1 cup sliced stemmed shiitake mushrooms
8 large omega-3 eggs
1 cup diced Fontina cheese, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

preparation

Preheat broiler. Melt butter in heavy broilerproof 10-inch-diameter nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add leeks and sauté 4 minutes. Add asparagus and shiitake mushrooms, sprinkle lightly with salt, and sauté until tender, about 6 minutes. Whisk eggs, 3/4 cup Fontina cheese, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in medium bowl. Add egg mixture to skillet; fold gently to combine. Cook until almost set. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup Fontina cheese and Parmesan cheese over. Broil until frittata is puffed and cheese begins to turn golden, about 3 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve.


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