Photo Credit: Todd Coleman/The Mom 100 Cookbook
A frittata is an Italian omelet, but one in which all of the add-ins (cheese, veggies, what have you) are beaten directly into the eggs. Frittatas are a tabula rasa, which just means blank slate, and is also my way of showing off two years of high school Latin.
This is to say that there are many, many possible flavor combinations for frittatas, starting with that extra cup of cooked veggies from the night before. Asparagus, broccoli, mushrooms, olives, scallions, tomatoes, zucchini, spinach, leftover rice – if you open the door to your refrigerator, I’ll bet you can find about 10 things that would be great frittata fillings. If you are just thinking about interesting combos, and not worrying about picky eaters, you could mix in a dollop of pesto or tapenade into the eggs, too. Bacon, feta, and scallions is a favorite combo.
Generally a frittata is cooked first on the stovetop, then finished under the broiler. Some people cook a frittata entirely on the stovetop, flipping it during the cooking process instead of transferring the unflipped frittata under the broiler. Some people are also circus acrobats or professional skydivers.
You will need a skillet that can go from stovetop to oven, and stand up to the heat of the broiler, and that means one without a plastic handle. If you have one of these that is also nonstick, you are golden.
Frittatas are great warm or at room temperature, happily hanging out for a couple of hours before being cut up and served. Ideal for brunch, they are a subtle way of saying “I’m not making individual omelets for all of you.” A good potluck notion, and cut into small squares, a lovely hors d’oeuvre.
My kids picked at frittatas a few times when I served them at the table. The first time they fully embraced them was when I pulled out a plastic container of little frittata wedges at the park one day (they are quite portable), and within minutes a group of four kids had demolished them. Maybe it was the fresh air, maybe it was the unusual context, maybe it was that they were extremely hungry (Mom tip: try new foods in unusual situations when your kids are “STARVING!”), but it worked.
Finally, because frittatas are just as delicious served at room temperature as hot, it’s easy to whisk up two or more if you have a bigger group. This logically means that you can make frittata one quite simple, and one much more adventurous.