Sunday, December 18, 2011

Winter Veggie Frittata

Slice of Frittata on Plate
Winter Veggie Frittata

Recipe by Robin

I confess that I have never made a frittata before. The word intrigued me, and when I won a raffle prize of 6 fresh eggs from the office manager’s chickens, I thought “frittata.” Frittatas, it turns out, are quite similar to “veggies and scrambled eggs,” which I used to make every Sunday morning when I was single, paired with whole grain toast and homemade jam. Back in those days I used zucchini, bell peppers, and sometimes tomatoes, in other words summer veggies. To honor where we are in the yearly cycle (and to use veggies on hand), I winterized my old recipe.

Fresh Eggs, Carrots, Leeks, Parsley, Greens, and Cheese
Frittata Ingredients
You could use any vegetables, really, even leftover cooked veggies, like the greens (arugula and tatsoi) that I added. You can use fresh spinach instead of cooked greens, or even add pre-soaked, drained sundried tomatoes. Have fun with it! Next time I might add some chopped pre-cooked Romanesco cauliflower. Fresh herbs are a great addition. I used parsley, but basil is delicious too. Reduce the quantity to 2 tsp. for oregano, 1 tsp. for thyme, or ½ tsp. for rosemary.

While being creative with your veggies, keep in mind:
  • Hard veggies like carrots must be sliced thin and precooked (see recipe).
  • If veggies produce a lot of juice when sautéing (tomatoes, mushrooms) drain liquid before adding eggs.
  • Drain precooked veggies, squeeze out precooked greens.
  • Sauté onions first, before adding other veggies.

Please share a comment if you find a great veggie combo. I’m thinking that leeks, pre-soaked sundried tomatoes, and spinach would be fun for Christmas morning.

Frittata in Cast Iron Pan After Broiling
Frittata After Broiling, Ready to Serve
Winter Veggie Frittata
serves 4

2 tsp. canola oil
1 ½ cup thinly sliced carrots (5 small)
¾ cup thinly sliced leeks (1 small)
1 cup chopped greens (cooked or uncooked)
¼ cup chopped parsley
1 cup beaten eggs (6 small or 4 large)
salt and pepper
¼ cup fat-free soy or cow’s milk
1/3 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese

Steam the thinly sliced carrots in the microwave by adding 2 tsp. water and placing in a covered container (with a little space for air to escape). Microwave on high for 2 minutes, or till crisp-tender. You can steam carrots in steamer, if you prefer. (Note: steam other hard veggies such as broccoli or cauliflower too.) Drain off water.

Beat the eggs together with the milk.

Heat canola oil on medium-high in cast iron frying pan, or other oven-proof sauté pan. Add leeks and sauté till slightly limp, about 2 minutes. Add steamed, drained carrots and cook another minute. Add (fresh) greens and stir till limp, about 30 seconds. If using chopped precooked greens, stir around to break up and evaporate water, a minute or so. Make the veggies as flat and uniform a layer as possible, then top with chopped parsley. Sprinkle veggies with salt and pepper to taste (optional).

Frittata with Bottom Cooked, Ready to Broil Top
After 10 Minutes, Edges are Set and Slightly Brown
Turn broiler on. You will be putting the frittata into the oven to finish cooking it.

Turn heat to medium-low. Add egg-milk mixture. Do not stir or lift edges. Allow to cook slowly, shaking pan every few minutes to see if edges are set. In 8 – 10 minutes, you’ll see the edges look set, and only the middle moves when you shake the pan.

Distribute the shredded cheese evenly over the top of the frittata. Using potholder, carefully place the oven-proof pan under the broiler. Watching carefully, allow the broiler to melt the cheese and cook the frittata top as much as you like it. This will take about 2 – 4 minutes, though this can vary depending on your broiler. Pan handle will be HOT, so remove pan from oven carefully.

Let sit a couple of minutes, then run knife around edge, cut into quarters, and serve. Traditionally, frittata is served at room temperature, but it’s also great hot, especially in winter.

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