Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Veggie Frittata (a la JessieLeigh)

Frittatas are one of my very favorite ways to use up bits and pieces and leftovers of things. As long you have some eggs, milk, and some variety of cheese, you can pull almost anything together into a yummy, filling, covers-all-bases meal. We love frittatas with meat in them-- ham & cheese and chicken with peppers and onions are real faves around here. What's nice, though, is that it's just as simple to whip up a meatless frittata. While not vegan-friendly (hello EGGS, MILK, CHEESE!), this makes the dish suitable for a vegetarian, appropriate for Lenten abstinence, and frugal to boot. The eggs and cheese pack a good protein punch so you're not left starving an hour later. Bonus- even picky kids will often eat veggies masked in eggs and cheese!

Now, true frittatas are put together in a skillet on top of the stove and then finished off in the oven. My version relies on the oven from start to finish. Most frittatas also start with a base layer of potatoes. In my recipe, feel free to use whatever starch your little heart desires. It may not be entirely authentic, but it's simple, easy to prepare ahead of time, and popular! This is absolutely a "learn the method and do what you want" kind of a recipe- have fun with it!

Veggie Frittata

  • approx. 1 cup starch-- I usually used cubed wheat bread here, but I have honestly used (cooked) potatoes-both cubed and sliced, leftover rice (especially Spanish Rice in a Mexican version), leftover pasta, cubed english muffin, torn leftover bun, shredded pancake, etc, etc. Your choice will affect the flavor and texture but I really, really encourage you to try something different! It WILL turn out and you just may discover a new favorite!
  • 4-5 eggs
  • 1/2 c milk
  • 1/2 - 1 c shredded cheese (any variety)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried mustard
  • dash black pepper
  • any other spices that fit your "theme", if desired
  • 1 c assorted chopped veggies (our favorites include: onions, peppers, broccoli, mushrooms, cauliflower, tomato, olives, and spinach... but I've thrown things such as carrots and green beans in there before!)
  • sprinkle of parmesan cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 375. Grease an 8" square or 9" round pan well and set aside. In large bowl, beat eggs together and add in milk and spices. Fold in shredded cheese. The result should kind of "thick" looking. Fold in chopped veggies and pour into prepared pan. Top with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese (this is optional, but it will result in a delicious golden "crust" on the top- YUM). Bake for 20-30 minutes, until set throughout. Let sit for a few minutes before cutting into it. I usually use a round pan and cut it into good-sized wedges. This recipe easily feeds my family of four (plus nibbles for the baby). If your family is larger, has older children, or contains "big eaters", you may want to consider making two of them!

This post is linked to:
$5 Dinner Challenge
Tasty Tuesday
Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

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