In our department we have monthly (or quasi-monthly) potluck lunches to celebrate the birthdays of the past month. For our last get-together I made an oven-baked frittata. The recipe is quite adaptable, just use it as a basic method. Change the veggies, the spices, add herbs, have fun with it!
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)
1/4 cup low-fat milk (or full-fat, or cream)
salt and white pepper to taste
1 Tbs olive oil
sliced cremini mushrooms
sliced roasted red bell peppers
Herbes de Provence to taste
grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese to sprinkle on top
Start by preparing the veggies. Heat the olive oil on a large skillet, add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper. Cook on medium heat until they start to release some liquid, then add the asparagus and roasted bell pepper. Season with herbes de Provence. Keep cooking for a few minutes until the asparagus are just starting to get tender. If there is any liquid left in the pan, increase the heat to high for a minute or so. Remove from the heat and add the veggies to a colander to make sure any excess liquid drains out.
Meanwhile, cover a 9 x 13 inches baking pan with parchment paper. Add the cooked, drained veggies to the baking pan, distributing them evenly over the whole surface. Break the eggs in a large bowl, whisk vigorously, add the milk, and season lightly with salt and pepper (keep in mind the veggies are already seasoned). Pour over the veggies, sprinkle grated Parmigiano all over.
Bake in a 350 F oven for about 40 minutes, until set and starting to get some color on top. Remove from the oven, let the pan cool for 10 minutes, then carefully remove the frittata to cool over a rack. Cut in squares, removing the paper and arranging the squares on a platter. Serve warm or room temperature.
to print the recipe, click here
My Mom has always been the “Frittata Queen” by definition, although her frittatas were for the most part made to use up leftovers. She doesn’t cook much anymore, but years ago, when we would go visit my parents to have dinner together, my Dad (remember the eternal joker?) used to beg us to finish all the food, otherwise he would have to face it next day in a “fritada” (the Brazilian term). I must admit that I’ve seen my Mom include leftover pasta, Bolognese sauce and all in one of her fritadas and she would often quote Lavoisier in defense of her culinary adventures. Who am I to go against one of the greatest scientists of all times? 😉
So, it’s about time that I shared with you my take on Mom’s classic. Baking works best when making a big batch with 10 eggs like this one. I’ve experimented with versions without any milk or cream, but they did not turn out very good. Definitely not something I would serve for guests. Some fat is needed to avoid rubbery eggs. Heavy cream provides the most luscious texture, but I always opt for a lower fat version, as egg yolks are rich enough. Porcini mushrooms, or a mixture of wild mushrooms work wonders in this type of recipe. Artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, diced ham… your imagination is the limit. Leftover squares keep for a few days well wrapped in plastic. Heat them in the microwave for a few seconds just to break the cold temperature from the fridge. Over-heating will compromise the texture. Trust me, you don’t want to do that.
“In nature nothing is created, nothing is lost,
(Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier, 1774)
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