I was recently asked to do an interview with Studio 360 for a piece they’re doing on people making the transition from the business world to more creative pursuits. When the interviewer asked if I could cook something as part of the interview, the first question I asked was if she had any dietary restrictions. As it turns out, she’s a vegetarian and I’m glad I asked because I was initially thinking about making the pork ragù from the other night.
As I started looking back through my recent posts I realized there was a dearth of vegetarian fare. It’s not that I have anything against vegetables (if you don’t believe me, click here), but I like to try and buy local and seasonal ingredients as much as I can. Unfortunately, winters in New York aren’t very hospitable to plant life and root vegetables and pumpkins make up the bulk of local produce during this time of year. The cold weather also makes me crave hearty stewed things but my heart always sheds a tear when I see nice vegetables that have been cooked to death.
Thankfully, we’ve had a taste of spring here the past few days and I’ve been feeling ready for some lighter fare. Frittatas are an Italian omelette that are very easy to to make and are a great way to use up leftover veggies and meat. For this one, I started with a base of caramelized onions for sweetness and flavour, added some leftover steamed broccoli rabe then added a good helping of Gruyere to the egg for its nutty savoury flavour. Try experimenting with different cooked vegetables, almost anything will do, just be sure to pre-cook it and drain out any excess water. For the cheese, you could really use anything and I find it’s a good way clean up those odds and ends in the cheese drawer.
With a light salad tossed in lemon juice and olive oil, it makes for a pleasant low-effort brunch, and they taste great cold, making them good additions to a picnic basket or a quick weekday breakfast on the go.
1 C Gruyere or Comté cheese
1 large onion sliced thin
1 C steamed and chopped broccoli, asparagus, swiss chard or other vegetable
salt and pepper
In a medium bowl whisk the eggs, then add the cheese along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
Heat an oven safe non-stick skillet or well seasoned cast iron skillet over medium heat then add a splash of olive oil and saute the onions until soft, brown and fragrant, about 15-20 minutes. If you’re using a leafy vegetable, make sure you squeeze out any excess moisture with your hands. Add the vegetables to the pan and saute to warm.
Pour the egg and cheese mixture over the vegetables and stir to combine. Turn down the heat to medium low then smooth off the top and allow the egg to cook about half-way through. You can check to see how well cooked it is by tipping the pan up and shaking. It should be firm but jiggly, kind of like a pan of jello.
Move the oven rack to the upper middle position and turn the broiler on. Place the skillet under the broiler until the top is mostly set and is just starting to brown (1-2 minutes). Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Slice and serve warm with a salad.