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.
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… read more >>