Friday Night Frittatas

Thursday, March 8, 2012

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Although he grew most of the vegetables we ate, my father wasn’t really much into cooking.   He was in charge of salads and made eggs on Sundays, but that was pretty much the extent of it.  Dad did, however, have a few signature dishes that he  loved to prepare – and he did so with great gusto!  One of said dishes was a frittata.

A frittata is a fancy, Italian name for a baked, open-faced omelet.  It’s an egg-based dish that usually contains  a combination of various vegetables, cheese and meat.  The cooking is started on the stove and then finished off in the oven.  It is very similar to the Spanish dish,  tortilla de patatas, except that there is no flipping involved, making it much easier to execute.

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Frittatas were always on the menu at my house on “meatless” meal days like Christmas Eve and Fridays during Lent.  My dad would thoughtfully plan what to include in his frittatas based on what was growing in his garden at the time.  His favorite kind was filled with caramelized onions, fresh asparagus, mushrooms and big hunks of mozzarella cheese.   He would prepare each component of the dish separately, and with the skill of an architect, would carefully construct his creation before cooking it.  Then, Dad would strut into the dining room, proud as a peacock, and present his masterpiece to us. I can still see his face, beaming with satisfaction and delight!  My father’s frittatas always turned out perfectly – much better than mine ever do.  I wish I had paid more attention to his technique.  I guess I just thought that he would always be around to make them.    Sigh…

While it looks rather impressive, a frittata is a super simple dish to prepare, with lots of room for creativity.  And, it works equally well for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  You can put just about anything but the kitchen sink in it too, making it a great choice for when you need to purge your fridge.   This frittata is filled with onions, potatoes, ham and Parmesan cheese, which is what I happened to have handy on the night I made it.   If I had planned ahead, I would have probably also added mushrooms and some mozzarella or provolone chunks.  It’s all good!

Do you ever make frittatas?  What are your favorite things to put in them?  I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments.

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10 responses to Friday Night Frittatas

  1. On March 08, 2012 at 10:21am, Rachel (S[d]OC) said...

    YES YES YES. These are a Friday night staple for me when I don’t have any leftovers from anything I cooked early in the week and I don’t want to cook much on a Friday night. I make one that’s really huge and I can still reheat half of it for dinner the next night (when I’ve been at the barn all day and I’m hungry and tired and don’t want to cook and don’t want to deal with crowded restaurants on a Saturday night). Tomorrow night it will be caramelized onions, zucchini and a little bacon on my half.

  2. On March 08, 2012 at 10:32am, Rosa said...

    A nice laid-back meal! This frittata look delicious. Perfect flavors.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  3. On March 08, 2012 at 10:40am, Jori said...

    In my house, it’s all about the cheese. We take a peek at what one of the usually several kinds we have in the frig and figure out what would taste good with that. I’m rather partial to tomatoes (diced canned works great when they’re out of season), spinach and feta. Great with some toasty bread and a glass of wine!

  4. On March 08, 2012 at 12:05pm, Aly ~ Cooking In Stilettos said...

    I haven’t fully mastered the frittata yet, but I definitely need to give it a whirl this Lenten season.

  5. On March 08, 2012 at 4:33pm, Donna said...

    This looks amazing for a Friday Lent dinner…BUT….the HAM poses a problem for avoiding meat on Fridays!..I’ll bet a purely veggie variant…or a dill/potato/smoked salmon version would fit the bill nicely!

  6. On March 08, 2012 at 11:54pm, terri said...

    I miss my dad too. He has been gone 1 year ago tomorrow. Love your site, great recipes

  7. On March 15, 2012 at 12:47pm, Bren @ Flanboyant Eats™ said...

    I love frittatas. I grew up eating the Spanish style very frequently and love making them now…playing with so many ingredients (always having potatoes except for my plantain one) makes making them so much fun! And so delicious! Our family staples are onions, garlic and potato.

  8. On March 15, 2012 at 2:55pm, Ewa said...

    It looks great! Vegetables, eggs, cheese – yum.

  9. On March 16, 2012 at 12:06am, Annemarie said...

    My favourite is Mama Rosa’s Potato Frittata, from NZ cook Julie Buiso.
    Simply it contains potato, onion and lots of garlic, sauted in olive oil, then mixed into eggs, soft breadcrumbs, parmesan, basil and seasoning, tipped back into a hot pan and fried on one side then under the grill for the other. Served in wedges tucked into a big wodge of excellent sour dough (like a frittata sandwich). Simple and delicious.

  10. On May 08, 2012 at 1:55pm, CJ at Food Stories said...

    I found your site through another food blog and thought I would stop by to check yours out. I just subscribed to your blog feed and can’t wait to see what your next post will be!

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Hello and welcome to SGCC! I’m Susan, a professional writer, food columnist, recipe developer, wife, mother, daughter and sister, who used to be a lawyer in a previous life. My love of food comes from a long line of wonderful and creative Italian home cooks who didn’t always have a lot, but knew how to make a lot out of what they had. I hope that you enjoy yourself while you’re here, and visit often! read more >>

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