Don’t know what to make for dinner tonight? How about a frittata? Personally, I love frittatas! They are a quick easy meal, especially on a weekday night. Frittatas are a great way to use up leftovers or extra produce from your garden. And, they are usually inexpensive to make. Frittatas are tasty served hot or cold so you could even bring an extra piece for lunch the next day.
The word frittata comes from the Italian word to fry. This dish is similar to the French quiche, but without the crust. A frittata can contain any variety of ingredients, cooked in beaten eggs. This mixture is first cooked on the stovetop until firm and then finished in the broiler or oven. To serve, the finished frittata is typically cut into wedges.
Eggs are a great, inexpensive source of protein, providing about 6 g protein in each egg. Eggs also provide choline, an essential nutrient needed to make cell membranes in our bodies. Studies have shown the majority of Americans are choline deficient. Still concerned about eggs affecting cholesterol levels? Multiple studies have shown cholesterol from our diet has little affect on blood cholesterol levels and some recent studies have shown eggs may even improve cholesterol values. Want to read more about how healthy eggs are? Read more here.
As I’m sure you will want to have a frittata tonight, here is how to do it. (I should inform you that in my house my boyfriend is the frittata maker, and I the eater, but I’ve watched him do it enough that I can share the method with you.) You will need a large frying pan that can go from stovetop to oven, such as a cast iron pan. Vary the amount of ingredients based on the pan size.
First, dice a small onion, a few cloves of garlic and the veggies you want to use. The BF usually adds 2-3 cups of vegetables. Feel free to use fresh, frozen or cooked vegetables. Some of our favorites are zucchini, peas, spinach, swiss chard or green beans. Next, beat 8 eggs and season with salt & pepper. Oil the pan and heat over medium heat. Sauté the onions, garlic, and any fresh vegetables until tender. Add about 1 cup of grains – the BF likes to use cooked barley or rice (try the frozen brown rice from Trader Joe’s). You can also add shredded or diced meat, plus any cooked vegetables at this point if you’d like. Pour the eggs over the vegetables and grains. Mix until evenly distributed and continue stirring as eggs cook. Cook until eggs are firm and a crust has formed on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Top the frittata with cheese. Be creative – we have had shredded aged cheese like pecorino, soft goat cheeses and even ricotta in our frittatas. Finish the frittata under the broiler until browned on top. Cut into wedges and serve. Buon appetito!