Tired of scrambled eggs and omelets?
Published Thursday, 13-May-2010 in issue 1168
It looks like an omelet and tastes like quiche, but behaves much nicer in your skillet during the cooking process.
Known as a frittata, this Italian-style “egg pie” offers the perfect solution for when you have too many eggs on hand. The dish can be served hot or cold — and eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner. And when properly wrapped, it stores in the refrigerator for up to four days. But unless you grew up around food-pushing Italian grandparents, chances are great that you haven’t experienced the rapture of this fluffy egg treat, which the Spanish happen to call a tortilla.
Traditional Italian frittatas generally contain three key ingredients in addition to the eggs: Asparagus, pepperoni and finely grated Parmesan cheese. In modern twists, the flavor profile is amplified with the addition of green peppers, garlic, onions, oregano and cayenne pepper.
Unlike omelets, the eggs are not folded over, but rather flipped once in the frying pan to achieve an evenly cooked disc – a challenge that might generate less anxiety to those who haven’t mastered folding and cooking evenly a basic omelet.
Using a wide spatula to loosen the outer edges and center of the eggs when they are half cooked, simply slide the egg disc out of the pan. Balance it onto spatula. Take a deep breath and flip. When the frittata is fully cooked, invert the skillet onto a serving dish rather than risk tearing it through other means of extraction.
Seize upon fresh asparagus (now), using thin to medium size spears cut into pieces the size of a fingernail. Also, avoid using water-exuding vegetables in your recipe, such as zucchini, tomatoes or mushrooms, as they will impair the firmness of the frittata. Variant ingredients such as Gruyere cheese, lean pre-cooked ham and broccoli perform well.
Frittatas made ahead of time can be eaten cold or reheated gently in the microwave. Their flavors ring through best, however, when eaten at room temperature. Below is a foolproof, time-tested recipe that contains “the works” and yields three servings.
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups diced fresh asparagus
Half cup sliced pepperoni, each piece quartered
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup diced onions
1/2 cup diced green bell peppers
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 tablespoon each of parsley and oregano
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions: Beat with a fork the eggs, Parmesan cheese and spices in bowl and set aside. Sauté onions and green peppers in the oil over medium heat until browned. Add the asparagus and pepperoni and cook until soft. Then add the minced garlic and continue cooking for about 2 minutes. Pour the egg mixture into an 8-inch skillet and gently disperse the ingredients with a fork. Cook until the bottom half becomes firm. Flip the frittata and continue heating until eggs are completely cooked. Remove immediately from pan by inverting it onto a dinner plate, then serve or refrigerate.