Someone told me that his mom once used five successive exclamation points in a note saying she was making frittata for dinner. At that point I had never tried frittata, but I knew I must if it roused that much excitement in someone. Now I love to make it, and it has become a default meal if I have a lot of eggs and vegetables. If you’re not familiar with frittata, it’s like a crustless quiche, or a baked omelet.
I love to put ricotta in frittata, if only so I can say “ricotta frittata” over and over. I made this one just before spring break when I needed to clean out my refrigerator. No ricotta unfortunately, but I used up a zucchini, a Chinese eggplant, half a red bell pepper, leftover chorizo and most of my eggs. It made a nice dinner and breakfast before my flight.
Plus, it’s so easy, you’ll be singing like my friend Kat did, “Hakuna Frittata! It means no worries!”
Frittata is another one of those meals you don’t have to follow a recipe for. Simply make a mixture of egg, vegetables, herbs, cheese and meat if you’d like, season with salt and pepper, then pour in a hot cast iron skillet. Cook on the stovetop till it sets, then move to an oven on broil.
- 6-10 eggs (depending on how many vegetables you’re using, and how many people you’re feeding. If you have a small cast iron pan, you can make an even smaller one)
- 1-4 cups sliced or chopped vegetables (peppers, onion, zucchini, spinach, asparagus, eggplant, squash, potato, artichokes, etc)
- Herbs (basil, chives, parsley, rosemary, thyme, oregano, etc)
- Cheese (ricotta, romano, parmesan, or any Italian cheese)
- Meat if you want (sausage, ham, chorizo)
- Salt and pepper (red pepper flakes are good too)
- Olive oil or butter
Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat.
Mix everything together in a large bowl. Make sure there is enough egg for all the vegetables to fit under. You want the filling more than simply coated. You can also add a splash of milk or cream to the mixture. You won’t be able to taste the dish until it’s completely cooked, so make sure you have enough salt, pepper and herbs, then trust your instincts. It will be great.
Use a tablespoon of olive oil or butter to coat the bottom of the skillet. Then pour egg mixture in, making sure vegetables are covered by the egg. A larger frittata shouldn’t cook on too high of heat, otherwise the bottom will burn before the inside has started to cook. Cook a few minutes until the bottom has set. You’ll start to see it solidify on the sides. Then transfer to under the broiler for a few minutes to finish. Again, if you have a large frittata, it’s better not to put it close to the heat right away. I had mine on a lower rack for a few minutes before bringing it up higher to get the golden brown top.
As with a cake, you should be able to stick a knife in the center and have it come out clean.
Serve for breakfast, lunch or dinner.