What do you turn to when it seems like there's nothing to eat and the stack of leftovers in the fridge is way past its prime? I turn to eggs. It's a staple I always have in the fridge. It's great to have on hand for baking and of course for a fast healthy and nutritious breakfast. But eggs can also make a great meal in a pinch. The other day I had nothing to eat and all I could find were some vegetables I hadn't yet used and a carton of eggs. So supper became this simple frittata, an Italian-style omelette that's baked. Dinner doesn't need to be complicated when you have a frittata recipe in your back pocket.
With only a few easy steps, this egg-forward dish is very quick to put together. Some light sautéing is required, but beyond that it's just assemble and bake. Any vegetable at hand works well. I happened to have cremini mushrooms, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes. Fresh herbs are also very welcome in this dish. Parsley or basil work the best. And a frittata is not complete without a topping of cheese. A good melting cheese, like mozzarella, Swiss, or Parmesan adds an abundance of flavor. And for some ultimate decadence, add bits of crisped bacon or pancetta.
Make sure to use an ovensafe nonstick pan for this recipe. It should not have a plastic handle. I do not like to use the traditional Teflon nonstick, because of the fumes that can be emitted at very high temperatures. My choice of pan has a Thermalon nonstick surface, commonly marketed under the name GreenPan. I find that this type of pan releases food exceptionally well and also makes food crispier than usual. It also doesn't flake like Teflon normally does after much wear. Try it and you may soon add it to your coterie of pots and pans.
5 large eggs
5 large egg whites
fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 garlic clove, minced
4 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
8 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
1 small zucchini, sliced
2 tablespoons torn basil leaves
1/4 cup grated Gruyère
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Using a whisk, beat together eggs and egg whites until frothy. Season with salt and pepper.
Warm olive oil and butter in a 10-inch ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and zucchini, cook until tender, about 5 to 8 minutes. Lower the heat. To the pan add the tomatoes and basil. Season with salt and pepper. Stir and distribute vegetables evenly in pan. Pour in the egg mixture. Let eggs set for a few minutes. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the frittata has puffed and is light brown. Yield: 4 servings.