Category Archives: Frittatas

Zucchini and tomato frittata

Zucchini and tomato frittata

This is an attractive frittata. But the tomatoes weren’t put on the top for appearance. It was done for flavor. Let me explain.

I started out wanting to make a frittata with zucchini. Zucchini is a mild vegetable, so I needed something to complement it. Tomatoes seemed the obvious choice–think ratatouille. But I though if I cut up the tomatoes and mixed them in the frittata, they would overwhelm the zucchini. Also, given the nature of a frittata, only so much can be mixed in, so including the tomatoes would reduce the amount of zucchini, further limiting the zucchini flavor. That’s when I had the idea of slicing the tomatoes thinly and using them to cover the top. The zucchini could be the star in the body of the frittata, to be complemented by the tomatoes on the top.

If you’ve looked at any of my other frittata recipies, you have seen that I like to finish the cooking of the frittata under the broiler. I made an exception for this one, baking it in the oven instead, because I didn’t want to brown the tomatoes.

Zucchini and tomato frittata

1 cup zucchini cut into matchsticks, about 3/16-inch (1 good-sized zucchini)
1 tablespoon shallot, chopped
olive oil
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated or finely shredded
2–3 Roma tomatoes, sliced very thin, enough to cover the frittata
salt
fresh ground pepper

3 eggs

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cook the shallot in olive oil about 2 minutes over low heat until it starts to get soft. Add the zucchini and a bit of salt and pepper. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes until the zucchini just starts to soften. Don’t overcook, and remember that it will cook some more in the frittata.

Put the eggs into a good-sized mixing bowl and beat just to mix them up. If needed, add a bit more oil to the pan and let it get hot. Add a small amount of egg mixture to the pan to set the bottom of the frittata to prevent sticking. Turn the heat down to medium low. Mix the zucchini and shallots and the Parmesan into the eggs and pour the mixture into the pan. Place the tomato slices on top, covering the frittata. Sprinkle a little more salt and pepper on the tomatoes. Cook this for about 5 minutes to set the bottom and sides.

Put the frittata in the oven. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the egg next to the tomatoes just starts to brown.

Remove from the oven, loosen up the sides with a spatula if necessary, and slide the frittata out onto the serving plate.

Greek frittata

Greek frittata

The feta cheese and Kalamata olives make this a Greek frittata.

This is a recipe where you can vary the flavor profile by varying the amounts of the ingredients. Add more feta cheese to make that more dominant. Or reduce the number of Kalamata olives to lower their presence in the frittata. (I would recommend these directions for making modifications.)

Greek frittata

1 cup coarsely chopped spinach
1/4 cup feta cheese plus more for the top
8 Kalamata olives, cut into quarters lengthwise

3 eggs
olive oil

Put the eggs into a good-sized mixing bowl and beat just to mix them up. Add a bit of oil to the pan and let it get hot. Add a small amount of the eggs to the pan to set the bottom of the frittata to prevent sticking. Turn the heat down to medium low. Mix the spinach, cheese, and olives into the eggs. Pour the mixture into the pan. Cook this for about 5 minutes to set the bottom and sides.

Preheat the broiler. When the 5 minutes cooking on the stove are up, sprinkle on additional feta cheese and place the pan under the broiler, about 6 to 7 inches below. Cook until the top is set and just starts to brown. This is about 1–1/2 to 2 minutes for me, but watch closely.

Remove from the broiler, loosen up the sides with a spatula if necessary, and slide the frittata out onto the serving plate.

Cauliflower and cheddar frittata

Cauliflower and cheddar frittata

It is quite common to see cauliflower served with a cheese sauce. So a cauliflower and cheese frittata was an obvious choice. This is, of course, very similar to the broccoli and cheddar frittata made earlier.

A few comments: Remember to make the cauliflower pieces sufficiently small to work in the frittata. The 2 minutes of cooking seems to be about right–you want the cauliflower cooked but still firm. Finally, I included more cheese in this than in my other frittatas with cheese. I wanted this one to be really cheesy.

Cauliflower and cheddar frittata

1 heaping cup small cauliflower florets, 3/4-inch or less
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese plus a little more for the top

3 eggs
oil

Drop cauliflower florets in boiling water. Cook for 2 minutes. Drain.

Put the eggs into a good-sized mixing bowl and beat just to mix them up. Add a bit of oil to the pan and let it get hot. Add a small amount of egg mixture to the pan to set the bottom of the frittata to prevent sticking. Turn the heat down to medium low. Mix the cauliflower and cheddar into the eggs and pour the mixture into the pan. Cook this for about 5 minutes to set the bottom and sides.

Preheat the broiler. When the 5 minutes cooking on the stove are up, sprinkle on some additional cheese and place the pan under the broiler, about 6 to 7 inches below. Cook until the top is set and just starts to brown. This is about 1–1/2 to 2 minutes for me, but watch closely.

Remove from the broiler, loosen up the sides with a spatula if necessary, and slide the frittata out onto the serving plate.

Chicken fajita frittata

Chicken fajita frittata

The ingredients in a fajita will work perfectly well in a frittata. Season and cook as if making a fajita and you have a fajita frittata.

A few notes: The meat and vegetables in a fajita are traditionally made and served in strips. For a frittata, I think it makes sense to cut these strips into shorter pieces. For the bell peppers, I would choose to use red and yellow peppers in a fajita for maximum contrast. (Green pepper would not be my choice for a fajita.) But for the frittata, with the eggs being yellow, I chose an orange pepper to have contrast with the eggs. And of course the frittata ingredients can be prepared however you like to make fajitas. The chicken is often marinaded, and everyone seems to use a slightly different mixture of spices.

Chicken fajita frittata

4 ounces, 1/2 cup chicken breast, cut into strips and then shorter pieces
1/3 cup red bell pepper cut into strips and then into shorter pieces
1/3 cup orange or yellow bell pepper cut into strips and then into shorter pieces
1/3 cup red or yellow onion, sliced and cut into pieces
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon oregano
fresh ground pepper
oil

3 eggs
oil

Mix the spices. Heat oil in a pan over moderately high heat. Add the chicken and sprinkle on over half of the spice mixture. Cook, turning frequently until chicken is browned and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. (These are small pieces, so they will cook quickly.) Remove the chicken from the pan and add the vegetables and a bit more oil if needed. Sprinkle on the remaining spice mixture. Turn down the heat to medium and cook until the vegetables are soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from pan. Depending on the amount of the spices remaining in the pan, you may want to wipe it out before proceeding with the frittata.

Put the eggs into a good-sized mixing bowl and beat just to mix them up. Add a bit of oil to the pan and let it get hot. Add a small amount of the eggs to the pan to set the bottom of the frittata to prevent sticking. Turn the heat down to medium low. Mix the chicken and vegetables into the eggs. Pour the mixture into the pan. Cook this for about 5 minutes to set the bottom and sides.

Preheat the broiler. When the 5 minutes cooking on the stove are up, place the pan under the broiler, about 6 to 7 inches below. Cook until the top is set and just starts to brown. This is about 1–1/2 to 2 minutes for me, but watch closely.

Remove from the broiler, loosen up the sides with a spatula if necessary, and slide the frittata out onto the serving plate. Serve with pico de gallo or salsa.

Mushroom truffle frittata

Mushroom truffle frittata

This is a frittata for someone who really likes mushrooms!

I used crimini and shitake mushrooms for this frittata, as these are readily available, but you could certainly use other kinds. I think using two different types adds to the complexity of the flavor. I definitely think this frittata calls for something more interesting than the white button mushrooms. By the way, the quantity of mushrooms may look like way to much for the frittata when you first put them into the pan, but remember that mushrooms cook down a great deal.

For me, 1/8 teaspoon of truffle oil (I used black truffle oil) is just enough to add to the flavor of the mushrooms. You may want more or less, so taste and smell the mushrooms as you add the oil. A note on truffle oil: Most (all?) truffle oil gets its flavor not from truffles but from the chemical that is the primary flavor component of truffles. It may or may not also have some real truffle included as well. When you think about it, given the extremely high price of truffles, there is no way real truffles could be used to get that much truffle flavor into a bottle of oil that could sell for under $15. Extreme disputes have arisen as to whether it is appropriate to use such artificially-flavored truffle oil in fine cuisine. Some chefs bitterly oppose its use. On the other hand, Thomas Keller’s French Laundry cookbook has numerous recipes that call for truffle oil.

In these blog posts I frequently describe the inspiration for a frittata or salad. When I first made this frittata, I wasn’t (consciously) thinking of any specific dish or recipe. This just seemed like something that would work and taste good. But as I was writing this post, I recalled what was surely the source for this. Some years ago, we had this absolutely awesome mushroom soup in a restaurant in Monterey, California. My daughter, an excellent chef, recreated the soup. The primary ingredients were mushrooms, cream, goat cheese, and truffle oil.

If you want to have a glass of wine with your frittata, this is very earthy, so I would suggest a red wine.

Mushroom truffle frittata

1 heaping cup crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 heaping cup shitake mushrooms, caps, sliced and cut into pieces
1/3 cup/1 ounce goat cheese, shredded or crumbled
1/8 teaspoon truffle oil
olive oil

3 eggs
olive oil

Cook mushrooms over medium to medium-low heat for 10 to 12 minutes, until the moisture is gone and they start to nicely brown. You may want to turn up the heat towards the end to help them brown. Several minutes before the mushrooms are done, add the truffle oil so it can be cooked through all of the mushrooms. Remove from the pan.

Put the eggs into a good-sized mixing bowl and beat just to mix them up. Add a bit of oil to the pan if needed and let it get hot. Add a small amount of the eggs to the pan to set the bottom of the frittata to prevent sticking. Turn the heat down to medium low. Mix the mushrooms and goat cheese into the eggs and pour the mixture into the pan. Cook this for about 5 minutes to set the bottom and sides.

Preheat the broiler. When the 5 minutes cooking on the stove are up, place the pan under the broiler, about 6 to 7 inches below. Cook until the top is set and just starts to brown. This is about 1–1/2 to 2 minutes for me, but watch closely.

Remove from the broiler, loosen up the sides with a spatula if necessary, and slide the frittata out onto the serving plate.

Smoked turkey breast, Havarti cheese, and avocado frittata

Smoked turkey breast, Havarti cheese, and avocado frittata

This frittata was insprired by sandwiches. Not a single sandwich–I don’t know that I’ve ever had this combination at one time. But I have had the turkey and cheese and the turkey and avocado on sanwiches and thought they went well together. So here I am including all three in the frittata.

I did something different with the Havarti cheese in this frittata. Usually when including cheese in a frittata, I use shredded or grated cheese that becomes uniformly mixed with the eggs. For this frittata, I cut the cheese into small cubes and added these to the eggs. The idea was to have little nuggets of the pure, distinctive Havarti cheese flavor throughout the frittata. I think it works well.

Smoked turkey breast, Havarti cheese, and avocado frittata

1/2 cup smoked turkey breast cut up into small pieces (I used the deli sandwich meat)
1/2 cup avocado cut into small pieces
3/4 cup Havarti cheese cut into very small, 1/4-inch cubes

3 eggs
oil

Put the eggs into a good-sized mixing bowl and beat just to mix them up. Add a bit of oil to the pan and let it get hot. Add a small amount of the eggs to the pan to set the bottom of the frittata to prevent sticking. Turn the heat down to medium low. Mix the smoked turkey breast, Havarti cheese, and avocado into the eggs. Because these are all ingredients that can tend to clump together, I find it helpful to add small amounts to the eggs at a time, stir, and repeat in order to have things unstuck and dispersed throughout the eggs. Also, put the avocado in last and lightly stire just once to avoid mashing up the avocado pieces. Pour the mixture into the pan. Cook this for about 5 minutes to set the bottom and sides.

Preheat the broiler. When the 5 minutes cooking on the stove are up, place the pan under the broiler, about 6 to 7 inches below. Cook until the top is set and just starts to brown. This is about 1–1/2 to 2 minutes for me, but watch closely.

Remove from the broiler, loosen up the sides with a spatula if necessary, and slide the frittata out onto the serving plate.

Balsamic brussel sprout frittata

Balsamic brussel sprout frittata

This frittata was inspired by the brussel sprouts my daughter made as the vegetable for a Thanksgiving dinner. It has a very unique flavor, distinctly different from any other frittata that I’ve made.

Balsamic brussel sprout frittata

1–1/2 to 2 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces
1 cup brussel sprouts, stems and outer leaves removed and cut into quarters
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

3 eggs

Cook the bacon in the skillet until crisp, remove and drain on a paper towel, leaving the bacon fat in the pan.

Cook the brussel sprouts in the bacon fat over medium heat for about 4 minutes until they start to brown. Since I like the brussel sprouts only lightly browned, I then add a bit of water and cook for another 4 minutes. I add a tablespoon at a time, with more when the water cooks off. If you want the brussel sprouts browned more, don’t add the water and just keep on cooking. Be sure all of the water is cooked off and add the bacon and the balsamic vinegar. Cook for about another minute to combine the flavors.

Put the eggs into a good-sized mixing bowl and beat just to mix them up. The remains of the bacon fat in the pan should be sufficient, so let the pan get hot. Add a small amount of the eggs to the pan to set the bottom of the frittata to prevent sticking. Turn the heat down to medium low. Mix the brussel sprout, bacon, and balsamic vinegar mixture into the eggs and pour this into the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes to set the bottom and sides.

Preheat the broiler. When the 5 minutes cooking on the stove are up, place the pan under the broiler, about 6 to 7 inches below. Cook until the top is set and just starts to brown. This is about 1–1/2 to 2 minutes for me, but watch closely.

Remove from the broiler, loosen up the sides with a spatula if necessary, and slide the frittata out onto the serving plate.