August 11, 2008

Vegetarian Frittata

I decided that I wanted something light for dinner tonight, since I ate way too much food at lunch today. I am stuffed! My friend Laura and I took the kids to a tumbling class this morning, and then she invited Connor and I to stay for lunch at her house, afterward. We feasted like royalty. I had not one, but TWO, meatloaf sandwiches...yes, they were that good....corn, and mashed potatoes and gravy. The boy ate chicken nuggets, a small container of applesauce, and a whole can of Mandarin oranges by himself. We were very hungry people, and Laura took care of us. Consequently, I am now uncomfortably full. At any rate, I thought a frittata would be a nice, light choice.

This recipe came to me via my friend Claire, who found it in one of her cookbooks and posted it on her blog Cooking Claire. I really, really love this vegetarian frittata. Surprisingly, the husband and boy really like it too (despite the lack of meat). The recipe calls for 6 eggs, and I have made it before with EggBeaters or a mixture of egg whites and a couple whole eggs to cut down on fat, cholesterol, and calories.
Regardless of the type of eggs used, it still turns out great. I will serve this with some leftover soup from last night and some crusty bread. I usually have all the ingredients on hand, so this dish is always economical and super-easy for me to make.

Vegetarian Frittata
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch crescents
2 cups fresh spinach leaves, cut into a chiffonade
1 bell pepper, preferably red, roasted, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch die
6 large eggs
1/2 tsp salt
8 grinds cracked black pepper
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Generously butter a 9 or 10 inch pie plate. Heat the olive oil in a saute pan. Add onions and saute until browned. Add the spinach and cook just until wilted. Stir in the roasted pepper and remove from heat. Spoon the vegetables into the buttered pie plate, distributing evenly. Let cool.

Meanwhile, beat the eggs in a large bowl just until yolks and whites are blended. Add salt, pepper, Parmesan cheese. Mix thoroughly.

When vegetable mixture has cooled, pour egg mixture over it, again making sure that the ingredients are evenly distributed. Dish can now be set aside, covered and refrigerated, for up to 8 hours before baking.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 450. Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes, or until the edges of the frittata are golden brown and the center is set but still slightly creamy. Do not over bake. Remove frittata to a rack and let cool approximately 15 minutes. Carefully loosen frittata from the pan with a metal spatula. Slide out and continue to cool on rack. To serve either hot or at room temperature, slide frittata onto a flat surface and cut into wedges.

Jen's Notes:
I think I will deviate from the original recipe by using frozen, chopped spinach instead of fresh. I have frozen on hand, and I do not want to make a special trip to the store just for spinach.

Before cooking, I will thaw spinach out in a colander and drain by hand-squeezing as much excess water out as possible. It is critical to get as much water out as you can, or it will affect the outcome of the frittata. Watery frittata is not very appetizing.

The spinach will be pre-chopped so there will be no need to cut into a chiffonade. Typically, one package of frozen, chopped spinach will do the trick.

No comments: