Kelli’s thoughts about brunching reminded me of one of my standby meals. Everyone has, or should have, a few meals that can be assembled and cooked quickly, easily, and without a recipe, for those nights when the schedule is even more compressed than usual. One of my favorites is a frittata. It is generally gluten-free, and can be vegetarian and/or dairy-free depending on your preferences and what’s hanging around in your refrigerator.
Pictured is tonight’s dinner – a spinach-summer squash frittata topped with a few bell pepper rings. These freeze well and make excellent leftovers for lunches. Leftover vegetables or potatoes or grains from a previous dinner will speed dinner still more. I’ve tried various ways of cooking these – stovetop, oven, and both, and I’ve found no textural or flavor differences, but I prefer the below oven method for ease. In the summer, I bake in a toaster oven on the porch to avoid roasting us all out of the house.
The 30-minute baking time is sufficient to prep a salad and clean the dishes generated in cooking, so cleanup is quick, too.
Frittata (6 servings)
- 6 large eggs
- vegetables, sliced thinly (tonight’s used 1/2 pound frozen spinach and 1 medium crookneck squash; onions, peppers, asparagus and green beans work well also. )
- potatoes, in small cubes, or cooked grain or pasta, if desired
- seasoning to taste – fresh herbs are nice when available – chives, basil, parsley
- optional: cheese – I’ve used everything from cheddar to chèvre
Oil a deep 9″ pie plate and preheat oven to 350F.
Saute the vegetables (if using potatoes, start these earliest, and cook until done) dry or in a small amount of olive oil until most of the moisture is removed. Stir in seasonings.
Beat the eggs until your arm is really tired. Put the vegetables into the pie plate and pour the eggs on top. Using a fork, gently move the vegetables around here and there to mix in the eggs. Make a design on top if desired, with pieces of pepper, asparagus, thinly sliced carrots, etc.
Bake for about 30 minutes, or until eggs are thoroughly cooked and the frittata is beginning to brown. Serve with salsa or ketchup if desired.