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Easy and Convenient Dinnertime Recipe for Busy, Working Moms: Simple, Healthy, & Delicious Frittata Recipe (w/pictures)
Frittata - Hard to Spell, Easy to Make
Before I had made a frittata myself, they intimidated me. Mostly because I couldn't even spell the word. Also because it sounded French, and I don't fancy myself a particularly fancy cook. Once I made one I realized how ridiculously easy they are. And incredibly adaptable.
My favorite thing about them, as a busy mom (and what mom isn't busy?), is that they are quick to make, but also a great way to get my son to eat spinach. And my husband loves them too. They are also quite cheap, and I get to feel good about cooking something from scratch. Basically, they are the perfect dinner.
The recipe below is very very loosely adapted from one that was in the New York Times Magazine a few years ago. I still look at it for guidance, but my recipe has strayed very far from the original. For example, they use prosciutto (also hard to spell, also delicious!) and I am now back to being vegetarian. They also use different kinds of cheese, different spices, and the list goes on. Basically it has as much in common with the original recipe as the new Star Wars movies have with the originals (oooops, did I just wander into a controversy?). But that is what is great about the fritatta - you can adapt it easily and make it your own in so many ways.
Tips for Finding Inexpensive Ingredients
- Marinated artichoke hearts - these can be pretty expensive at regular grocery stores, but if you live near a Costco, they sell really cheap big containers of marinated artichoke hearts.
- Sundried tomatoes - same as artichoke hearts - way cheaper at Costco.
- Dill - if you want the dill flavor, fresh is really so much better than dried - I think it's not even worth bothering with dried. But if you use Dill Dofino, you get the dill flavor without having to buy the herbs.
- Cheese - it's always cheaper to buy blocks of cheese and grate it yourself rather than buying pre-grated.
- 1-2 tablespoons of butter
- 1/2 bag to 1 bag of baby spinach - I use half a bag and then usually cook up the rest just to eat on the side.
- 5-7 Eggs - depending on how hungry your family is and how many you are. We are three (two adults, one two and a half year old) and I usually do 6 eggs, figuring 3 for my husband, 2 for me, and 1 for my son. We always finish it all.
- 3-4 marinated artichoke hearts, chopped up into thin pieces
- 1/3 cup grated sharp cheddar (or whatever is your favorite - any cheese works well)
Add or substitute for the spinach and/or artichoke hearts:
- Asparagus - cut into 1-2 inch pieces, blanched (dropped in boiling water for 2-3 min, then cooled off in cold water in a bowl or strainer)
- Sundried tomatoes (from a jar), chopped up
If you want meat:
- 3/4 cup Bacon, cut into small pieces
- 3/4 cup Proscuitto, cut into small pieces
If you want more spices/flavor:
- Saute the spinach (or asparagus) with a dash of nutmeg and/or black peper
- Add some dill (fresh tastes better - you can just sprinkle it over the spinach or asparagus
- Add some parsley (sprinkle over the spinach or asparagus)
Other cheeses that work particularly well:
- Dofino Dill Havarti - the dill flavor works really nicely if you aren't adding fresh dill.
- Goat cheese (but kids might not like this as much)
- Feta cheese
Easy Steps for Making a Fritatta
- Grease a 9x9 round glass baking pan. I am sure other types of pans would work too, but this is the type I always use.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- If you are using spinach, heat some olive oil (about 1 tablespoon) in a pan and cook down the spinach over medium heat.
- If you are using asparagus, blanch it so it's just a little bit tender (put it in boiling water for about 2 min, and then strain and transfer into cold water to stop the cooking).
- Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and pour into the pan.
- Distribute the spinach or asparagus in the pan on top of the butter (you can mix them up a little bit so the butter coats your greens when you put the greens into the pan).
- Distribute the thinly sliced marinated artichoke hearts on top of the spinach or asparagus and butter. Do the same with sundried tomatoes if you are using those.
- If you are adding meat, sprinkle your small pieces of bacon or prosciutto on top of everything.
- Grate cheese (whichever you prefer from above) on top of everything.
- Beat eggs until light, then pour over everything - shake the pan gently so it distributes evenly if necessary.
- Grate a little extra cheese over the top.
- Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes - it should look golden brown on top when it's done. You can easily test with a fork to make sure the eggs are fully cooked.
- Cut into slices (like a pizza) and serve. Enjoy!
Bonus - Bake Biscuits to go with the Fritatta
It's nice to have some sort of bread or biscuit to go with the fritatta. Toast will work just fine and there's no need to stress yourself out making anything else from scratch. But if you do have a few extra minutes, it's actually really simple to make biscuits. I like making the buttermilk biscuits from the Joy of Cooking.
Tips for making biscuits:
- The only part that's a pain is getting the butter into pea size or smaller pieces without a pastry cutter. The obvious solution there is to buy a pastry cutter! But if you don't have one, just make sure the butter is very cold, and then you can actually cut it up with a knife and then crumble it with your hands into the flour.
- I also like to use King Arthur white whole wheat flour to make them a little more healthy.
- If you don't have buttermilk, you can easily make it if you have white vinegar. Just put a tablespoon of vinegar into a measuring cup and fill the rest of the cup up with milk and let sit for five minutes.