Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Frittata with Broccoli, Zucchini, Chives and Goat Cheese

love the rich colors of this dish
If you have never made a Frittata walk into the kitchen and start cracking those eggs. What is egg-tastic about frittatas is they can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner and are delicious hot or cold. I think they are best for brunch, but also I have a serious love of brunch. I would marry brunch, but I foresee some difficulties with that.

Frittatas are so flexible and versetile, once you figure out how to make them, they will be your new favorite way to cook for guests. They also sound fancy but are simple to make, which is great for a beginner cook like myself.

Traditional Spanish frittatas are made with potatoes and onions. When I was traveling I met a few people from Spain who first tickled my interest about the deliciousness of the frittata. Once I got home, I noticed all the different frittatas out there. Recently I realized how good vegetables frittatas can be, and for those of us who have little time to cook, they only take about 30 minutes. Yippee!

Some recipes say 1 cup vegetables to 5-6 eggs. I prefer having it be vegetable heavy, instead of egg heavy. Not only do the vegetables make it healthier, they also add texture and I think balance out the flavor. So I used about 2 cups of vegetables to 6 eggs and found I still got plenty of egg flavor, but the eggs werent the predominate flavor.

Looking into recipes, some added as much as a stick of butter and others only used 1/3 cup of milk. I add a splash of half and half to my scrambled eggs, I find it makes them fluffy. So I added a few splashes of half and half and I think it was plenty. You could use milk or a tablespoon of butter, I think a little fat helps make it a bit moister, but you certainly don't need heavy cream(I love Barefoot Contessa but she really does add a stick of butter or a cup of cream to everything).

Herbs of some kind are often used in Frittatas. Similar to pizzas, Frittatas are fun because you can combine ingredients endlessly. Next time I might use some thyme, or perhaps rosemary. Im cautious in using herbs because too much can overpower the dish, and I love tasting the vegetables. Perhaps next thyme I suppose.....(I was raised by a pun crazy father, you will have to get used to it)

The method of cooking a frittata varies depending on who you read. I have tried cooking it on the stove and found it ended up being dry and overcooked. An egg dish can go from moist and light to dry and overcooked within a matter of minutes. So I start cooking my frittata on the stove top and then move it to the oven to finish it off. Its cooked throughout, while still staying moist and eggy.  A cast iron is really the best to use, but any oven safe saute pan will work.

This dish is enough for a meal, though I would recommend some type of vegetable on the side to round it off. On this night, I made roasted brussels sprouts, but steamed green beans would have been just as delicious. If serving for brunch serve with a good fruit salad.

I looked at few different methods of cooking a frittata, but the ingredients I added were my own idea.
Try not to eat it all yourself...*cough* I ate half myself *cough*

Frittata with Broccoli, Zucchini, Chives and Goat Cheese
a little slice of vegi heaven
The Goods: Serves 4
6 large eggs
1/2 cup broccoli, chopped
1/2 cup zucchini, chopped into quarters
1/3 cup scallions, chopped
1/3-1/2 cup herb goat cheese(plain is fine)
2-3 medium garlic cloves, pressed or minced
2 tablespoons half and half
2 tablespoons olive oil
a couple good pinches of sea salt and pepper

The Deal: 
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil on medium heat in a medium saute pan(one that is oven safe). Once the oil is hot, add garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add your broccoli and zucchini and cook until tender about 3-5 minutes.
cookin up greens, oh yeah!

2. Once your vegetables are cooked remove from heat and let cool for about 3 minutes(You dont want to put hot vegetables in eggs and risk cooking the eggs.)

3. While waiting for your vegetables to cool, whisk your eggs, half-and-half, scallions, goat cheese, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl.

4. When the vegetables have cooled, add them to the egg mixture. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat in the saute pan. Pour the egg mixture in the pan and turn heat to medium low. Add dollops of goat cheese, if you desire more than what you already added. Cook undisturbed until the bottom of the eggs are firm about 8-10 minutes.
Cooking the frittata on the stove
5. Then place the pan in the oven. Cook your frittata until the egg on the top are set about 15-20 minutes. Check your frittata about every 5 minutes, this dish is easy to ruin if it over cooks. To check if its ready, use the handle to jiggle the pan, if there is still liquid its not ready, once the jiggle stops, take it out.

6. Once the top is set, remove from heat. Serve hot or room temperature, slice into eights.

Frittata Fives all around!

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