While an omelet is a thing of fragile beauty, dependent upon the perfect technique and immediate eating, the frittata is more accommodating. Cut a couple of slices, serve with salad, beans or grains and voila! Dinner is ready.
The options are endless. I tend to be partial towards the traditional “Spanish Tortilla”. The potatoes, are cut into thin slices and then fried in olive oil together with sliced onions until they are soft, but not brown. The potatoes and onions are mixed with raw beaten and salted eggs. This mixture is returned to the pan and slowly fried. Then, instead of flipping the frittata, place it under a hot broiler to set and brown the top.
The key to getting it right is letting it cook slowly on top of the stove until there is just a shallow puddle of raw egg left on top, and then sticking it under the broiler for just a few minutes.
Of course, eggs are just the beginning; the most distinctive aspect of the Italian frittata compared to similar preparations, is the creative and imaginative use of all kinds of ingredients.
Other ingredients, like green or red peppers, chorizo, shrimp or different vegetables, may also be added. Once you have grasped the basics, frittatas are really easy to improvise. For a 10-inch skillet, you will need about 6 eggs and 1.5 cups of cooked filling. I personally love the flavor that the layer of onions add, so at least ½ an onion makes it’s way into my frittata filling every time. And as always, cheese can be added at your whim.
I have compiled a few ideas for ingredient choices but this is just the beginning, after all the Frittata is an egg dish with endless possibilities.
Herbs and spices whisked into eggs: Rosemary, Parsley, Thyme, Cilantro, Dill, Fennel, Basil, Oregano.
Vegetables (added in raw): Tomatoes, Peas, Green Onions.
Vegetables (cooked in skillet or roasted): Onions, Garlic, Peppers, Sweet Potatoes, Beets, Winter Squash, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Potatoes, Brussels Sprouts, Mushrooms, Zucchini, Asparagus, Eggplant, Greens (Spinach, Swiss Chard, Kale, Arugula)
Cheeses: Mozzarella, Cheddar, Parmesan, Gouda, Blue, Feta.
Meats: Cooked Bacon, Salami, Prosciutto, Ham, Chorizo, Roasted Chicken, Shrimp.
Tortilla Española (Spanish Omelet)
1/2 cup Spanish olive oil
6 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 medium onion, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a 10″ sauté pan. Add potatoes and onions and cook, lifting and turning, until potatoes are soft but not brown.
2. Beat eggs in a large bowl until pale yellow. Transfer sautéed potatoes and onions with a slotted spoon to beaten eggs. Reserve oil.
3. Heat 1 tbsp. of reserved oil in the same pan over medium heat. Add egg and potato mixture, spreading potatoes evenly in the pan. Cook uncovered until the bottom is lightly browned, about 3 minutes.
4. Bake until set, about 5-7 minutes. Invert, or serve from pan and enjoy!