June 28, 2012

Vegetable Frittata

Every time I make eggs, I think of that scene in Runaway Bride where Richard Gere's charachter (Ike Graham) challenges Julia Robert's character (Maggie Carpenter) about the reasons she has left a string of fiancés at the altar by asking her, How do you like your eggs? Over the course of his fact-finding trip in Maryland, Ike comes to find out that Maggie would eat her eggs the same way her fiancé at the time would eat them. My favorite part of the story line is the scene where you see Maggie standing at her kitchen counter with about a dozen plates in front of her, each with eggs prepared a different way, and she takes her fork and starts to try each one. As obnoxious and insensitive as Ike has been to her, Maggie realizes that she doesn't know herself and figuring out how she likes her eggs is one of the first steps she takes to understanding her true likes and dislikes until she ultimately comes to know herself fully. 

Pop movie trivia quiz! Do you remember how Maggie likes her eggs? I will reveal the answer at the end of this post. 

Unlike Maggie Carpenter, I have known how I like my eggs since I was really little. Like, five or six years old, little. It goes like this: I will. not. eat egg whites. Let me clarify: I will eat egg whites if they are beaten into the egg yolks, but if eggs are prepared in a way where the whites remain separate of the yolks, I'm not touching them. So that means I will not eat eggs sunny-side-up, over-easy, poached, or fried. If I eat a hard-boiled egg, I will eat only the yolk and give the whites to my dog. I like only the oozy yolk of a soft-boiled egg. I turn my nose up at the thought of an egg white omelet and don't even get me started on hard-boiled eggs in potato salad. I will not touch an egg salad sandwich with a ten foot pole, I will politely decline a deviled egg, will never eat egg-in-the-hole for breakfast and will take a pass on a croque Madame.

As you can see, I am incredibly particular about how I like to eat my eggs. Some of you may even think that I am missing out on a world of eggy deliciousness, but I respectfully disagree. I have tried many times to eat egg whites prepared differently and I dislike them every time. There is something about the flavor and texture that my palate does not like. Obviously, this limits the way I can enjoy eggs, but I hardly feel deprived, especially when I prepare a wonderful Italian frittata.

A frittata is the Italian equivalent of an omelet, except much easier to prepare because there is no rolling or flipping involved. Once it is cooked, a frittata can feed several people, whereas if you are preparing omelets, each one has to be prepared one by one. I have nothing against omelets (the ones with egg yolks in them!), but I prefer the family-style ease of a frittata. In Italy, eggs are generally not eaten for breakfast. Rather, egg-based dishes like frittata are served for either lunch or dinner. I grew up eating frittata for dinner often. It is the perfect thing to make when you do not feel like cooking something more involved, but still want to feel like you are eating a decent evening meal. A frittata is also a great "clean out the fridge" type of dish. If you have a hodgepodge of leftovers from the night before, or vegetables in the crisper drawer, throw them into some beaten eggs and make a frittata. It is a great way to get creative with your eggs. Because a frittata is very satisfying, a simple green salad is all you need as a side dish. Or, you could also tuck a hearty slice in between two pieces of crusty ciabatta or baguette for a frittata sandwich. 

So...do you remember how Maggie Carpenter likes her eggs in Runaway Bride?

Turns out, she loves Eggs Benedict. But I think if she would have tasted a frittata, she would have changed her mind. 


Vegetable Frittata
Adapted from The Comfort of Cooking

I got inspiration for my frittata after reading my blogging friend, Georgia's post for her Cheesy Bacon Potato Frittata and used the same measurements for the eggs, potatoes, milk and salt. From there, I chose to make my frittata vegetarian with the addition of roasted zucchini and cherry tomatoes. 

Since the frittata needs to finish cooking under the broiler, be sure to use an oven-safe skillet. Do not place non-stick skillets under the broiler as the intense heat can ruin the non-stick coating.

2 zucchini, sliced 
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Non-stick cooking spray 
3T. unsalted butter
6 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1 3/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese (or cheese of your choice)
2 cups frozen hash brown potatoes (unseasoned), thawed
6-8 Cherry tomatoes, halved

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss the zucchini with the olive oil and transfer to a baking sheet, spreading the slices out in an even layer. Roast for 25 minutes, or until golden and tender. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. 

Switch the oven to the broil setting.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs, milk and salt until evenly combined. Add in the cheese and mix lightly to distribute. Set aside.

Coat a large skillet with non-stick cooking spray. Melt the butter in the skillet over medium heat. Add the potatoes and toss to coat. Cook the potatoes for about 5 minutes until heated through. Add in the roasted zucchini and cherry tomatoes and toss.

Reduce the heat to medium-low. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the vegetables and gently tilt and swirl the pan to coat all the vegetables. Use a rubber spatula to distribute the vegetables and eggs evently if necessary. Cover and cook for about 6-8 minutes until the eggs are set on the bottom.

Transfer the frittata to the oven and place under the broiler element--not too close--about 5-6 inches away. Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, or until the eggs are set. Remove the frittata from the oven and let the it cool for about 1-2 minutes in the skillet before transferring it to a cutting board. Use a long offset spatula to help you loosen the frittata from the skillet. Cut into wedges and serve warm. 

Comments (9)

I enjoyed your recap of Runaway Bride. It's been a long time since I've seen that movie. I have learned how I like my eggs - any way I can get them! Eggs are one of my favorite foods, but I am partial to anything with runny yolks. Your frittata sounds excellent too! I'll have to grab some zucchini at the market next week so I can make it :)

Posted by Theresa
07/01/12

I have seen that movie a million times, but couldn't remember!! I love eggs in any way, shape or form (even the whites!) and this looks like perfection to me!

Posted by Deborah
07/01/12

Love all of the veggies! Looks so good!

Posted by Maria
07/01/12

You are too funny! My son is the opposite...he won't eat the yolk by itself and always nibbles around it when I give him a hard-boiled egg. This frittata sounds perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Posted by Cookin' Canuck
07/01/12

I love a good fritatta and seeing yours served with a green salad makes me realize what a great summer dinner this makes. Looking forward to seeing you next week!

06/29/12

Oh how I love frittatas. I am the worst omelet maker so frittatas are my go to if I'm craving a hearty egg dish. The possibilities are endless!

Loved this post so much!

Posted by Aggie
06/28/12

Flavia, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post. This post had me chuckling because I remember vividly how you would always gave us the whites while you ate only the yolks!

Your frittata looks absolutely delicious, and I am definitely going to make one soon!

Posted by Cristina
06/28/12

A frittata or scramble is the only way I like my eggs, so this looks perfect for me (I can't stand a runny yolk!). I love all the delicious veggies you incorporated here. I must try, with a sprinkle of basil on top!

06/28/12

This looks so tasty, Flavia! I love the Runaway Bride movie. Julia Roberts and Richard Gere have such good onscreen chemistry. Tough to say which style of eggs is my favorite, but I do like making omelets! Need to give eggs benedict a try sometime.

06/28/12
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