Sunday, May 06, 2012

Sunday Brunch: Herb Frittata

I love eggs. They comprise an overwhelming majority of my morning breakfast options because they are fast, hot and filling. I love a simple scramble with cheese or poached eggs over a veggie saute. Every once in a while, it's fun to try something a little different. For a Sunday brunch or mid-week dinner, a frittata with fresh herbs and cheese really hits the spot. So when my neighbor Danielle invited us over for cashew-butter waffles, I whipped this up along with a fruit salad. It made a delicious and fun way to spend our Sunday morning.

Start to finish, a frittata only takes about twenty minutes. It tastes good hot out of the oven, at room temperature, or even cold like leftover quiche. You can customize it easily, based on whatever you happen to have in your fridge or what vegetables sound especially delicious. I've provided some variations below.

And what could be better than a post-brunch lego marathon with friends? Asher and Sam enjoyed the waffles and the company (as did the parents).

Herb Frittata
Based on an original recipe by Cook's Illustrated
Serves 4 as a main course or 8 as a side

6 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
olive oil
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
3 TBS basil, finely chopped (can also substitute other fresh herbs)

To make the frittata:
Adjust an oven rack to the upper middle position and preheat to 350F.

In a bowl, whisk together eggs, cheese, salt and pepper.

Heat the oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, 4-5 minutes. Add fresh herbs and egg mixture. Stir gently for about 30 seconds until eggs on bottom of pan start to set. Then, using a rubber spatula, gently loosen the egg from the side and tilt the pan in that direction, allowing uncooked egg to run under the spatula. Continue lifting with the spatula, tilting the pan and letting the uncooked egg run under, until the egg on top is mostly set but still appears moist. This whole process will take about 2 minutes.

Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook an additional 3 minutes, or until the top is completely set. 

To serve:
Run a spatula around the skillet edge to loosen it and invert on a serving plate. Garnish with fresh basil sprig and a sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan.

In the step where the onions are sauteed, you can add up to 8 ounces of fresh vegetables, such as asparagus, mushrooms, zucchini, or a combination of these. 

Gruyere, havarti and brie are all suitable choices for a frittata as well. 

In addition, you can 2 ounces of cooked, chopped ham, bacon or breakfast sausage to make it more savory and more filling.

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