Frittata with Asparagus, Potato, Zucchini and Tomato
Need a healthy and simple weeknight meal? Try making a frittata. This can be a meal in itself or a nice addition to a fresh salad. It can be eaten hot, warm or room temperature.
A frittata may be described as an open-faced Italian omelet. Like an omelet, it consists of eggs cooked in butter with a variety of fillings. The texture is firm and set, although never to the point of being stiff and dry.
Do you have an overstocked produce drawer with a questionable life expectancy? You can create your own flavor of a frittata. Leftover vegetables always work well in a frittata. It’s a good way to use up vegetables (that you know would never get eaten otherwise) and get a second meal out of your first time efforts. Yes, frittatas can be made extra simple with eggs and just cheese. But by adding vegetables it’s a nice way to incorporate more veggies into your diet, which I’m sure a good chunk of us need to do.
The original recipe calls for a 10-inch non-stick skillet. The pan must have a metal, flameproof handle so you can place it under the broiler. A cast iron skillet works beautifully for this.
I use a 9 or 12-inch cast iron skillet depending on how many I’m feeding. The pan-to-egg ratio will also result in a thinner or thicker type of frittata. Adjust the cooking time depending on the pan-to-egg ratio.
Cooking methods vary. I have tried all of them other than the flip in air stunt. Not sure I’m ready to eat my efforts off the floor just yet. 🙂 I can’t say I favor one method over the other; it just depends on your mood.
1 tsp. dried basil or a few leaves of fresh basil (if you have it)
2 T. butter
2/3 cups parmigiano-reggiano cheese, plus additional amount to serve on top
1 or 2 diced red potatoes or golden potatoes, skin can stay on if you want (enough for at least a cup)
1 cup chopped asparagus
1 cup chopped zucchini
1 cup chopped tomato for garnish
Olive oil for sautéing vegetables
Olive oil or vegetable oil for frying the potatoes
Salt (to taste)
Black pepper (to taste – fresh ground if you have it)
And an extra splash or two of olive oil if needed
Wash and prepare all your vegetable at once. Any of the vegetables can be made in advance if needed.
Vegetables have different cook times. Work in batches, if needed, to get desired doneness.
Starting with the asparagus cut about 2- inches off the stem, a little above white part.
Place your pan on a medium to medium-high heat; pour some olive into your pan. Let heat for a minute then add the chopped asparagus and sauté for 3-5 minutes. Scoop the asparagus out of pan and set onto a clean plate.
Take your cleaned zucchini and remove the ends. Cut into ½ inch slices. You can leave it in slices or chop in half and then half again (fourths).
Using the same skillet; add more olive oil if needed, a medium to medium-high heat. Let heat for a minute if it’s not already hot from the asparagus. Sauté the zucchini 3-5 minutes or just enough to have a tender but yet slight crispness to the fleshy part of the zucchini. Scoop the sautéed zucchinis out of pan and add to the same plate as the asparagus.
Depending on the size of the potato; cut in half or in thirds. Then flip it and cut in thirds or fourths (if potato is too wobbly cut in half then slice and dice). Take the diced potato and place in a bowl with cold water. This will help remove the starch from the potato. Rinse the potatoes until you don’t see the white cloud of starch. Place on a clean towel or paper towel and pat them dry.
With using the same pan; add a few splashes of olive oil (1-2 tablespoons). Let oil heat (if using olive oil do not let it smoke) for a minute on medium to medium-high heat, you want the diced potatoes to sizzle when you add to the pan. Fry until they are golden brown and tender when prodded with a fork, about 10 minutes. Scoop the diced potatoes from pan; add to plate with other vegetables.
Remember, all vegetables can be made ahead. Keep vegetables at room temperature if you will be using at some point throughout the day.
Putting It All Together
Break the eggs into a bowl and beat them with a fork or whisk until the yolks and whites are evenly blended.
Add the vegetable, cheese, or other flavor components required by the specific recipe, and mix thoroughly until all the ingredients are evenly combined.
Turn on your broiler. (See note below.)
Melt the butter in a skillet, preferably with non-stick surface, over medium heat. Do not let the butter become colored, but as soon as it begins to foam, pour the egg mixture-stirring it with a fork while tipping it out of the bowl—into the pan.
Turn the heat down to very low. When the eggs have set and thickened, and only the surface is runny, run the skillet under the broiler for a few seconds. Take it out as soon as the “face” of the frittata sets, before it becomes browned.
Note: A frittata must be cooked on both sides and running it under a broiler, as described above, is just one method. The frittata can be flipped in the air, like a flapjack, and continue cooking it over the stove. Some may turn the frittata over onto a plate, and slide it back into the pan. Or, if you like working with the oven, you can do it entirely there. Pour the mixture into a buttered baking pan, preferably round, and put it into a preheated 350° oven for 15 minutes, or until the frittata is no longer runny.
When ready, loosen the frittata with a spatula, slide it on a platter, and cut it into serving wedges, like a pie.
Adapted from Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking