Sunday, June 17, 2012

Greek Frittata with Spinach, Tomatoes, and Feta

Slice of Greek Frittata on Plate with Fork
Brunch is Served (Add Fruit & Muffin)

Recipe inspired by the Heavenly Café


Every couple of Sundays, and not too early, I can be seen at the nearby Heavenly Café eating their Greek Scramble with a fruit cup and a homemade muffin. Although I haven’t mastered the art of the muffin as they have, I was able to create a rather convincing Greek Scramble-like frittata today. Tomatoes aren’t quite in season here, so I did use a not-quite-seasonal ingredient. Reconstituted sundried tomatoes from last season would have been better. I did try that, but it’s a bad sign when reconstituted dried tomatoes look blackish and have no smell at all. Who knows what season they might have been from. Doubtlessly from before 2011, and probably by quite a bit.


Sauteed Mushrooms, Spinach, Onions, and Tomatoes
Colorful Seasonal Veggie Combo
After making my first frittata last year with winter veggies, I’d forgotten about making this brunch treat until receiving a half-dozen eggs as a gift from a manager at my day job. She gathered them from her own chickens, who in fact inspired the original frittata recipe with their eggs last winter. It’s interesting that the chickens lay bigger eggs in summer. Instead of the 6 eggs I used in wintertime, only 5 were required for a near-summer frittata. Using really fresh eggs in this recipe makes a difference. Rather than just being a vehicle for the cheese and veggies, fresh eggs add a hearty, savory flavor of their own.

Veggies in Saute Pan Sprinkled with Basil and Feta
Top Veggie Layer with Basil and Feta, then add Eggs
Like most frittatas, this one starts out in a sauté pan and finishes off in the oven. So be sure to use a cast iron or other ovenproof pan. To save energy and keep from heating up the house, I finished cooking the frittata in the toaster oven. Do be sure your sauté pan fits and adjust the rack height, before you start cooking, if you want to use this option.

As I hinted above, you can use reconstituted sundried tomatoes in place of the fresh grape tomatoes. Pour boiling water over ¼ cup of them and allow them to “steep” for about 15 minutes before cutting them up. They can be added at the same time as the spinach.

Frittata in Saute Pan with Liquidy Surface
Ready for the Broiler
This recipe is rather heavy on the basil, so you could choose to use less. Or add just a little fresh oregano instead. The amount of feta could vary from ¼ cup to ½ cup.

You can alter the proportions of veggies to fit what you have on hand. Any tender green can be used in place of the spinach, including arugula or another spicy green. Keep in mind, though, that the spicy frittata might depart from the Greek theme and start heading towards more eclectic influences.

Finished Frittata in Pan
Let Rest for a Couple of Minutes before Cutting
Greek Frittata
serves 4

1 cup beaten eggs (approx. 5 eggs)
¼ cup fat-free soy or cow’s milk
2 tsp. olive oil
¼ cup sliced green onion
2 cups sliced button mushrooms
2/3 cup sliced and seeded grape tomatoes
2 cups chopped spinach
¼ cup finely chopped basil
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
salt and pepper

Beat the eggs together with the milk. Season with a little salt and pepper if desired. Be sure all veggies are sliced, seeded, and/or chopped.

Heat olive oil on medium-high to high in cast iron frying pan, or other oven-proof sauté pan. Add mushrooms and green onions, and stir-fry about 2 minutes, until mushrooms begin to brown. Lower heat to medium-high.

Add tomatoes and sauté another 2 minutes or so, until liquid comes out of tomatoes and starts to evaporate. Add spinach. Sauté, stirring, until spinach wilts, about 1 minute.

Make the veggies as flat and uniform a layer as possible. Sprinkle veggies with salt and pepper to taste, then top with chopped basil and crumbled feta.

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 about 10 minutes, you’ll see that the edges look set, and only some parts of the top move when you shake the pan.

Using potholder, carefully place the oven-proof pan under the broiler. Watching carefully, allow the broiler cook the top of the frittata as much as you like it. This will take about 2 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. I recommend it for brunch with a homemade blueberry muffin.

2 comments:

  1. I think I'll try a mini-frittata tomorrow, as I have all the ingredients but not the 3 guests!

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    Replies
    1. I usually save half for later. They store surprisingly well for a couple of days.

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