We've all been there: The clock says six (or maybe even seven), and you can't believe it's already dinner time. Everyone (including yourself) is getting cranky, which means you've got about 30 minutes before hungry mayhem ensues. The answer for dinner on the fly, my friends, is a frittata. With a handful of eggs, just half an onion, a potato and a few cups of quick-cooking vegetables from the crisper drawer, CSA box or market bag, you can make your own egg skillet pie in less time than it takes to pick up a carry-out order. It's a dish that we've whipped up on countless evenings, when it feels like nothing is possible, and before you know it, a really good, wholesome meal is on the table. Instead of a recipe, we offer a template, so that you can mix and match depending on the season and what you've got on hand.
Frittata Supper for Two or Three
We recommend starting with a potato. It gives the frittata some structure and makes for a more substantial meal. If you don't have a potato (or don't like/want spuds), your frittata still will be delicious. Remember: This is a guide, not gospel; feel free to get creative and eat down your fridge accordingly.
Place 1 medium-size (or 2 small) potatoes in a saucepan, cover with water, add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and bring up to a boil. Cover, and cook for about 10 minutes. Potato (es) will be partially cooked. Scoop out with a slotted spoon and cool under running water. When cool to the touch, peel and slice into thin half-moon/crescent shapes or into dice. Set aside.
Meanwhile, get your eggs and other goodies together. You'll need:
- 3 tablespoons olive oil (neutral/unflavored oil is also fine, and so is butter)
- ½ medium-size yellow onion or 1 shallot bulb, peeled and cut into thin half-moon/crescent shapes
- 4 to 6 large farmstead eggs (estimate 2 eggs per person): A current list of egg vendors is at the bottom of the page.
- ½ to 1 teaspoon salt
- Ground black pepper
1. Beat the eggs and season with salt and pepper.
2. In a 10 or 12-inch ovenproof skillet (cast iron works great), heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until slightly softened, about five minutes.
Add-on options after the onions have softened:
About 4 cups greens (chard, spinach, arugula, tender kale), stemmed and coarsely chopped or cut into ribbons (also known as chiffonade): Turn with tongs to coat with the onions and oil, season with salt, pepper and/or chili flakes, squeeze of lemon, and allow to wilt, about 4 minutes. (Add a drop or two of water if the pan gets dry.)
A sweet or hot pepper, diced; 1 to 2 cups asparagus, broccoli florets, zucchini or summer squash, cut into small pieces (an additional tablespoon of oil may be needed) : Saute—in batches if necessary—until tender and just slightly softened and maybe a little brown, 5 to 8 minutes, also turning with tongs to coat with the onions and oil) then season with salt and pepper.
3. Reduce heat to medium-low and distribute the cooked vegetables evenly in the skillet.
4. Pour the beaten eggs on top, tilting the skillet to ensure even distribution.
Add-on options after the eggs are added:
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley, mint, cilantro, basil, dill, or ½ teaspoon dried oregano or thyme: Sprinkle evenly on top of the eggs.
5. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until the eggs are just set, about 15 minutes. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving, or preheat the oven to the broiler setting (only if you're adding cheese).
Cheesy add-on options to be sprinkled on before the broiler:
About ¼ cup feta, ricotta, goat cheese or grated hard cheese (Cotija, Parmigiano-Reggiano, pecorino)
6. Transfer the skillet to the oven and broil, 2 to 3 minutes. You’ll see that the frittata will puff and brown.
7. Remove the skillet from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. Slice into wedges and eat warm or at room temperature.
Makes 2 to 3 servings.
A note on eggs: Nothing compares to a pastured farmstead egg from an SFMA vendor, especially during this time of the year, when the days are long, the hens are laying frequently and the yolks are the color of the setting sun. Vendors that regularly sell eggs include: