by Joseph Erdos
How to Make Dinner Out of Odds and Ends with a Vegetable Frittata
What do you turn to when it seems like there's nothing to eat and the leftovers in the fridge are way past their prime? I turn to eggs, a staple I always have in the fridge. Eggs make a great meal in a pinch. The other day I had nothing to eat and all I could find were some vegetables I hadn't yet used and a carton of eggs. So supper became this simple frittata, an Italian-style omelette that's baked. Dinner doesn't need to be complicated when you have a frittata recipe in your back pocket.
With only a few easy steps, this egg-forward dish is very quick to put together. Some light sauteing is required, but beyond that it's just assemble and bake. Any vegetable at all works well. I happened to have cremini mushrooms, zucchini and cherry tomatoes. Fresh herbs are also very welcome in this dish. Parsley or basil work the best. And a frittata is not complete without a topping of cheese. A good melting cheese such as mozzarella, Swiss or Parmesan adds an abundance of flavor. If you want to be decadent, add bits of crisped bacon or pancetta.
Make sure to use an oven-safe nonstick pan for this recipe. It should not have a plastic handle. I do not like to use the traditional Teflon nonstick, because of the fumes that can be emitted at very high temperatures. My choice of pan has a Thermalon nonstick surface, commonly marketed under the name GreenPan. I find that this type of pan releases food exceptionally well and also makes food crispier than usual. It also doesn't flake like Teflon normally does after much wear.
Vegetable Frittata Recipe
Makes 4 servings.
5 large eggs
5 large egg whites
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 garlic clove, minced
4 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 small zucchini, sliced
8 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons torn basil leaves
1/4 cup grated Gruyere
Preheat oven to 325 F.
Using a whisk, beat together eggs and egg whites until frothy. Season with salt and pepper.
Warm olive oil and butter in a 10-inch ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and zucchini, and cook until tender, about 5 to 8 minutes. Lower the heat. To the pan add the tomatoes and basil. Season with salt and pepper. Stir and distribute vegetables evenly in pan. Pour in the egg mixture. Let eggs set for a few minutes. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the frittata has puffed and is light brown.
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Recipes: "Vegetable Frittata Recipe
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