I think of a frittata as a baked omelette. It’s one of my go to meals – like dhal – when I can’t think of what to make, have limited time or just need a good dose of protein. Besides, it’s easy. And nutritious. Especially if you load it up with some of the season’s fine produce, and enjoy it with a crunchy salad on the side.
Beetroot, broccoli and potatoes (or sweet potatoes) is my standard veggie combination for making frittatas. Eggs, asparagus and peas also make a delightful combination. But you can make a frittata with any veggie mix. Just take a look at what’s in your fridge. Even frozen veggies will work. But make sure you use ones that have a low water content – like kale, beetroot, cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, beans, peas etc – otherwise you’ll find that your frittata may turn out spongy or, worse, into mush.
The other important thing about making a frittata is the dish or fry pan you’re making them in, including it’s size. Because this will help you decide how many eggs you need. I like to use a fry pan with an oven-proof handle, so I can start the frittata on the stove-top before moving it into the oven. I use a 10 inch (about 25 cm) fry pan. Six large eggs are perfect for this size – and make 4 servings. If you don’t have a fry pan with the right type of handle. Just use a shallow baking dish and leave out the stove-top step.
- Olive oil
- 2 medium potatoes
- some dried herbs and spices (I used sage, thyme & paprika) for seasoning the potatoes
- 1 medium beetroot
- 1 small broccoli head
- 6 garlic cloves if roasting; or 2 cloves if not (for a zingier taste)
- 6 large eggs
- 1 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed, or same amount of apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp pesto (optional)
- 50 g grated parmesan or pecorino cheese (optional)
- salt and pepper, to taste
Prepping the vegetables
First you will need to prep the vegetables. Preheat the oven to 180C. Roast the beetroot whole, lightly coated with olive oil and wrapped tightly in foil. A medium beetroot takes about 45 mins at 180C in the oven. Once done, take the foil off and allow to cool until you can handle. Then peel and chop into cubes. Set aside.
For the potatoes, scrub them clean. Leave the skin on and cube. Season with olive oil, and your desired herbs and spices. Roast on a lined baking tray until cooked through, but not too soft. This will take about 15–20 minutes at 180C. If you’re roasting garlic, you can do this with the potatoes. Just wrap the cloves in foil. Set aside when done.
While the potatoes (and garlic) are roasting, cut broccoli into florets and steam to your liking. I like to leave them slightly crunchy.
Leave the oven on at 180C.
Assembling the frittata
Layer the prepped vegetables in the fry pan. If you’re using roast garlic, squeeze the soft, caramelised yumminess from their skins and dollop over the vegetables.
In a large bowl, crack all the eggs and add the lemon juice (or vinegar), and, if using, the pesto and cheese. If you’re not roasting garlic, crush a couple of cloves and add them to the eggs. Season with salt and pepper, then lightly whisk. Pour the egg mix into the fry pan, over the vegetables.
Cooking it up
Start cooking the frittata on the stove-top over medium heat. Once you hear a gentle sizzle, cook for another 3 minutes before transferring the pan to the preheated oven. Bake for about 20 minutes until the frittata is cooked through the centre, and is lightly browned.
Rest for 5 minutes or so in the fry pan. (I always keep an oven mitt on the fry pan handle while the frittata is resting. It’s easy to forget how hot the handle is, and before you know it, you’ve grabbed the handle to slice – and burnt your hand. Speaking from experience here.)
Cut into quarters and dish up with a side salad.