For whatever reason, I had an aversion for years to trying to make a frittata. I’m not sure what my hang-up was, other than maybe not having the right kind of pan on hand that could truly go from stovetop to oven, and also not being quite sure how you knew when the frittata had been on the stovetop long enough to set up and not too long to burn.
So instead, I remained the kind of girl who would whip up everything from Thai green curry to homemade croissants without breaking a sweat. But I was afraid of frittatas.
Oooh…scary, scary frittata.
I got over that eventually, and my cast-iron skillet has been a great help in that effort. It makes the transition with ease, holds up to a little action by the broiler, and now I’m no longer afraid of the oh-so-delicious eggy pie. And what a wonderful eggy pie frittatas are: they’ll take on whatever vegetables or meats you have lingering in the refrigerator, they adore a little cheese in the mix, and they are equally at home on the breakfast or dinner table.
Recently, though, I started shifting my frittatas to a new level. I was trying to make a version of a risotto pancake not that long ago, and overdid it on the eggs, resulting in a frittata with rice in it. It was one of those happy accidents, because I discovered the addition of grain gives the frittata a carby heft that it otherwise didn’t have. It goes from a complete meal…to an even more complete meal.
Not long ago, I made one for breakfast, using some leftover whole wheat couscous that had some green chilis mixed into it. I sautéed up green peppers from our garden, onions, a little garlic, and then threw in green tomatoes, Canadian bacon and then added my eggy couscous mixture to the deal.
It wasn’t until the frittata was under the broiler that I realized I’d forgotten to add any cheese. Horrors! I threw some on, which made for a lovely golden crust over the top. Another happy accident.
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
A dozen green cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
4 slices Canadian bacon, chopped (can be omitted)
1/4 c. milk
1-3 dashes of hot sauce, depending on your taste preference (can be omitted)
1 c. leftover cooked couscous (optional: mix in some chopped green chilis to the couscous)
1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
- Sauté the onion and green pepper in olive oil until soft in an ovenproof skillet. Add the garlic, and give the vegetable mixture a few more minutes of sautéing.
- Add the Canadian bacon and sauté until brown.
- Add the green tomatoes and cook about two minutes, until they soften.
- Meanwhile, beat the eggs until frothy. Add the milk and the hot sauce, and then fold in the couscous.
- When the green tomatoes are soft, add the egg and couscous mixture to the skillet. Make sure everything is evenly distributed through the pan, and then leave everything alone. Let it cook approximately six minutes, until you can tell the edges are starting to pull away from the side a little bit.
- When the top of the frittata is still moist, but the mixture doesn’t jiggle much when you shake the pan, add the cheese to the top and put the pan under the broiler. Cook another three to four minutes, until the top is brown and the egg mixture is set.
- Let stand about three to five minutes, then cut into wedges and serve immediately.