A very long time ago, in a galaxy far far away… I was at a dinner party at my friend Ginny’s house, and one of the dishes she made was a fritte. That’s what Italian-Canadian farmers call them. The rest of us say frittata. Anyway, her sister-in-law was over the moon at how fluffy it was. “How many eggs did you use?! I always have to use at least 8 eggs and mine never turns out this fluffy?!” Ginny shrugged and replied she used 2 eggs. “No way!” another shrug and that’s it for my memory. I was new to food. In those days I still ate Alphaghetti out of the can during my busy season. What I realize now is that Ginny got her eggs from the next farm down the road, organic and super-fresh. She never used grocery store eggs, and whether she pointed that out to her sister-in-law at the party I don’t remember. But that is the first trick to making a fantastic frittata. Fresh eggs. The eggs you buy at the store can be months old already by the time you buy them. They do have a long shelf life. But nutrition aside, there is no comparison between Industrial grocery-store eggs, even “organic” or “Omega-3” eggs, and what you buy from a farmer with happy chickens. Just as a material, the way they work, the results you get. $6.50/dozen from Farmbox. You could totally make a frittata with 2 eggs. I use 6 because I want to eat more eggs.
The next trick is to beat them well. I mean, top speed on your mix master. Crack them into the bowl, turn the mixer on, and then prep the rest of your ingredients. You can do it with a hand mixer, or by hand, it will just take you a lot longer. If you have a blender you could use that to beat your eggs. You want them good and fluffy. Add your salt and pepper in this step. When you add the rest of the ingredients, fold them in carefully trying not to collapse the eggs.
The trick with the cooking part is pre-heat a seasoned cast-iron skillet well over medium heat, I always add a drop of olive oil even though theoretically you don’t need to if it’s seasoned (black). If the oil is smoking a tiny bit you’re good to go. That keeps it from sticking. Covering it with something (lid, cookie tray…) helps it cook more evenly, and I turn the heat down a bit once I’ve poured the mixture into the pan. Then I finish it in the oven so the top gets nice and golden.
So here is my “recipe”: (this is basically what I brought to the potluck in July)
Beat 6 eggs (fresh, Farmbox). Salt & pepper. Fold in chopped kale, shallots, tomatoes, oregano, feta, garlic scape pesto. Pour into large pre-heated cast iron skillet, cover. When mostly cooked sprinkle with parmesan and move to hot oven. May need broiling.
Regarding the ingredients: use anything. Last time I used beet tops. Chard is great in this. Nice thing is you can just clean out your fridge with this one. Use any herb. The oregano plants in the garden right now are huge and STRONG. But sage, thyme, or rosemary would be nice too. Just stick with one herb though. Use anything oniony or garlic-y. Chives, green garlic or green onion tops… I’m trying to use up this garlic scape pesto that turned out to be not so great raw, but is super-yummy cooked into stuff. Beans are ready in the garden; this might be great with blanched, chopped beans. How about some grilled zucchini?! Or leftover baked potatoes?! Artichoke hearts, roasted peppers, roasted eggplant… Also, change it up with the cheese. I’m a vegetarian so I never think to include meat, but I bet it would be great with leftover chicken, ham, bacon or maybe even fish. Bake it in a pie crust and you have quiche.