Classic Simple Dinners:
THE FRITTATA

the frittata

Frittata Basics

I recently read a cook book that said a frittata was a lazy persons dinner – ‘The culinary equivalent of a tracksuit’.

I couldn’t disagree more!

For me a frittata is a meal of beauty. And speed. And health.

And most importantly, downright deliciousness!

There are endless possibilities just like a sandwich so I never worry about getting bored.

Types of Frittatas

1. Frying Pan / Stove Top Frittata. The most common technique is to cook the frittata in a frying pan on the stove top. While it’s fine for the first side, things get a little tricky when it comes time to cook the top of the frittata. The options are either carefully flip it over or use an overhead grill / broiler to cook the top.

While frittatas cooked this way can be OK, they require contant attention. High maintenance and a high risk of uneven cooking.

2. The Baked Frittata Far and away my preferred option. Can take a few minites longer, but so much easier. Since I discovered this method I haven’t gone back to stove top frittatas.

Just pop your frittata mixture into a non-stick frying pan OR well greased springform pan. Then set your timer and pour a glass of wine while it happily bakes away.

Too easy.

6 Secrets for Success

1. Start with your ingredients at room temperature.

Eggs from the fridge will take much longer to cook than those already at room temperature. And if your other ingredients are too hot or too cold, they will change the cooking time as well. So unless you’re following a specific recipe and cooking time, best to start with everything at room temp.

2. Measure your pan.

If your pan is larger than the recipe, the depth of your frittata will be smaller. Which means it will cook much quicker. So if you’re using a larger pan, expect the cooking time to be less. And longer for a smaller pan.

3. Avoid sticking.

There’s nothing worse than making a beautiful dinner and then having to hack it out of the pan. I usually use a non-stick frying pan but always give it a good oiling before I add the frittata mixture to be on the safe side.

When using a springform pan I line the base with baking paper. THen I grease the sides really well with butter (because it stays in place when you add the frittata mixture – unlike oil).

Full disclosure – I did ruin a springform pan from having a frittata stick to the sides. So now if I’m using a springform pan I take the extra time to line the sides with baking paper as well.

4. Don’t over cook!

As with all egg cooking, the most common problem is over cooking. Which means a dry rubbery frtittata. No fun.

So always err on the side of checking sooner.

5. Use a timer

This way to don’t need to remember to check the frittata.

6. Have a plan (don’t use a dumping ground)

While I’m still incensed that a food writer had the audacity to compare the frittata to an old track suit. I can see where she’s coming from if the cook doesn’t take care in choosing their frittata ingredients.

Think through your frittata ingredients and make sure they sound appealing in your mind before committing them to the pan.

Frittata-Friendly Ingredients

  • anchovies
  • olives
  • cooked artichokes
  • cheese especially feta, parmesan, goats cheese, ricotta, cheddar
  • herbs especially dill, thyme, chives, parsley & basil
  • grilled veg especially red peppers (capsicum), eggplant, zucchini
  • mushrooms
  • truffles
  • roast veg
  • cooked potato
  • cooked sweet potato
  • cooked cabbage
  • cooked onion
  • asparagus
  • tomato – fresh, dried or cooked
  • chilli peppers – fresh, dried or powdered
  • cooked / canned legumes especially chickpeas
  • cooked pasta
  • spinach / chard / silverbeet
  • kale
  • smoked fish
  • shell fish
  • chicken
  • bacon
  • salami
  • proscuitto
  • sausages
  • chorizo
  • black pudding

Fab Frittata Ideas

  • Spinach & Feta
  • Mushroom & Goats Cheese
  • Cheese & Bacon
  • Ratatouille – Roast Eggplant / Zucchini / Capsicum (Bell Peppers)
  • Eggplant & Parmesan
  • 4 Cheeses (bocconcini, emmental, blue, parmesan) & Basil
  • Semi Dried Tomato & Proscuitto
  • Smoked Salmon & Chives
  • Mushroom, Olives & Artichokes (‘Capricciosa)
  • Potato & Rosemary
  • Anchovy & Olives
  • Sausage & Broccoli
  • Salami & Parmesan
  • Ricotta & Olive Tapenade
  • Spinach & Pancetta
  • Spiced Roast Cauliflower & Cheddar
  • Asparagus & Ricotta.

The Frittata Challenge!

Now you know all about frittatas, it’s time to turn your knowledge into deliciousness!

So I challenge you to make a frittata before the end of the month.

It can be your own creation or one of the recipes included here.

Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Cate Wade March 23, 2018

Tracksuit!!! What nonsense, it is a delicious frugal waste reducing masterpiece, This week I used a small head of broccoli, onion, 1 leek, 2 silver beet leaves and stalks, 1/3 punnet cherry tomatoes and the end of a container of marinated feta. This meant there was nothing in our waste bin and it fed us 3 meals with a green salad.
I oven bake too.

Reply

jules March 27, 2018

Hey Cate!

I know the tracksuit comment really offended me too 😉

Your frittata sounds delish. Did you cook the veg before adding the eggs?
Jx

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