On Friday, I dropped The Child off at school, drove home – and then almost immediately drove back to school to retrieve her when it turned out that she really didn’t feel good. She couldn’t keep anything down for a few days, even Gatorade. She slept on the sofa, mostly, while I did things around the house and in the yard, until it started raining hard, and I headed indoors and joined her in front of the TV.
There wasn’t much food in the house, and by dinnertime, I had no desire to head back out to the store. What I had on hand would have to do.
Happily, though, I had some eggs, so I was able to pull together one of my fallback, quick meals: A frittata. I use Mark Bittman’s basic recipe from How to Cook Everything, and then simply toss in whatever cheese and vegetables I have on hand. In my house, it’s usually Gruyere cheese, except Costco stopped selling my favorite variety, and since I haven’t found anything that comes close to it, I’ve been forced to start looking for a new standby cheese. I had some aged Cheddar from Trader Joe’s, which was marvelous, and paired well with the spinach and red pepper that I bought to make a salad with and … well, didn’t.
I know a frittata – unlike it’s cousin, the omelette – can be, and often is, served at room temperature, but I like to serve these hot, puffy eggs immediately so that they’re hot from the oven. Since they cook fairly quickly using the broiler method, I like to get my plates prepared before I start cooking, so everything is ready to go when the frittata is done. I usually serve them with just a bit of crusty bread alongside. In warmer weather, though, a frittata at room temperature is a nice brunch or lunch meal when served with a bit of salad. It’s simple and satisfying. Frittatas are versatile, too, because you can throw in pretty much whatever you like – so you can use up your leftovers. Play around with combinations and see what you like. There’s no hard-and-fast rule to them: Just keep the proportions the same, and have fun experimenting.
Note that the recipe below serves four: I cut the quantities in half and used a smaller (eight-inch) pan.
- ½ cup chopped fresh spinach
- ½ cup diced red pepper
- olive oil
- 6 eggs
- 2 oz aged cheddar cheese, grated
- salt and pepper to taste
- Saute the peppers and spinach briefly in olive oil, then remove and let cool.
- Beat together the eggs and grated cheese, and mix in the spinach and peppers.
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large oven-safe skillet (a 12 inch skillet is good). Pour in the egg mixture.
- Let cook undisturbed for about 10 minutes, until the bottom has set. While the eggs are cooking, turn on your broiler.
- Transfer the pan to the broiler, and cook until the top is golden and puffy. This will only take a minute or so, so keep a very close eye.
- Remove from the oven, cut into wedges, and serve.