I first discovered frittatas a few years ago when I needed to use up some fresh sage. Sage, with its leaves like Lamb’s-Ear, seemed fancy enough for Martha Stewart, so I turned to Martha Stewart’s Healthy Quick Cook, a treasure my aunt had given me for Christmas years earlier, and discovered a lovely sage-mushroom frittata. There was just one hurdle to clear first: could my nonstick cookware survive the oven? Since frittatas split their time between range and oven, this was essential to check.
After checking this off the list and trying my first frittata, I was hooked. Could there be a more perfect dish? First of all, it has lots of eggs, so that means a frittata will give you and your family plenty of protein without breaking the budget. Second, frittatas are incredibly accommodating. That means that once you know the basic technique, you can make frittatas for each season, experimenting with flavor combinations and using local produce. And, since there’s no folding involved, you can top a frittata with even more vegetables and herbs than you would be able to pack into an omelet.
Using what’s in season means you can make a very healthy dish. In this one, the bell peppers here are crammed with Vitamin C and a lot of potassium (good for regulating blood pressure) and Vitamin B-6 (great for your metabolism). Likewise, zucchini brings you plenty of these vitamins and minerals, along with a good jolt of magnesium and dietary fiber and even a bit of iron and calcium. Hurrah! Fresh local tomatoes supply Vitamin A, which boosts the immune system and helps with vision.
For this flavorful frittata, I used fresh vegetables and roasted them. There’s still a slight spring chill in the air, and roasted vegetables feel right for that kind of weather. Plus, I was planning to use Gorgonzola and thought the sweetness of roasted veggies would mix well with this kind of cheese. Not only that, roasting zucchini takes care of some of the excess liquid, which is great because excess liquid can make eggs take forever to cook.
One word of caution. Maybe you are much less accident-prone in the kitchen than I am, but if not, be sure to stick an oven mitt on the handle of the pan. I’m so used to grabbing the metal handle of my saucepan when I cook on the stove top that I always forget that this is the one meal that does not allow me to grab the pan handle-first. Youch!
- 8 eggs
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ¼ cup Gorgonzola cheese
- salt and pepper, to taste
- olive oil
- medium tomato
- ¾ of a:
- red bell pepper, sliced into big chunks
- yellow bell pepper, sliced into big chunks
- medium Vidalia onion, cut into eighths
- zucchini, sliced about 1-inch thick
- Arrange veggies in two baking dishes, giving them space so they'll brown nicely. Drizzle them with oil and roast at 400 degrees F for about an hour. Halfway through, pull them out of the oven and flip every vegetable over, then continue roasting.
- Turn the oven down to 375 degrees F.
- Beat the eggs until they're nice and frothy.
- On the stove top over medium heat, melt butter in an ovenproof pan. Spread the butter around so it covers the bottom of the pan. Add the eggs and then the vegetables.
- Cook until the edges are set, about 5 minutes.
- Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes, until the eggs are no longer runny.
- Carefully pull the pan out of the oven, sprinkle the eggs with Gorgonzola cheese and return the pan to the oven for another 3-5 minutes to melt the cheese.
And now you have a delightful, versatile vegetarian recipe to serve for brunch, breakfast or, with a side salad or some roasted potatoes, a hearty dinner. Make it your own, and make it often!
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