Spinach and Bell Pepper Frittata
Recipe for Spinach and Bell Pepper Frittata
I think the first time I came across a Frittata was when I was in US and addicted to Food Network. One of my favourite shows was Everyday Italian by Giada De Laurentiis. Even though I was fresh off the boat from India with not much exposure to Italian food other than 'pasta in red sauce', 'pasta in white sauce' and 'pasta in nondescript sauce', her recipes appealed to me big time. If I said that her show was responsible for getting me to cook Italian food with a flourish, I wouldn't be exaggerating.
So coming back to Frittata, it is a kind of omelette, but way thicker, usually with a variety of vegetables, even potatoes, and chunks of meat in some (like ham). The good thing about this is that it tastes good hot, warm or cold. It is my must have item on a brunch menu, because you can make omelettes for a crowd in one go, in a baking tray, each one cutting off as much as they like. Typically a 6 or 8 egg frittata will easily serve 3-4 people. Pile up some toast and pancakes on the side, juice and coffee, and you have a sumptuous family breakfast for the weekend.
This recipe for frittata uses homegrown swiss chard (that you can easily substitute with spinach) and some yellow bell peppers, topped with mozzarella cheese that melts beautifully when put into the oven. These large omelettes are first cooked on the stove top and then finished off in the oven. So make sure your pan is oven safe. If the handle of your pan is not metal, then you can wrap it in a few layers of aluminium foil and then put it in the oven, which will keep the pan handle safe.
- Peel and thinly slice the onion. Cut the zucchini piece length wise and then into slices to get half-moons. Slice the yellow bell pepper into strips, discarding the seeds.
- In an oven-safe, heavy pan, heat the oil.
- Add the sliced vegetables, except the greens. Sauté on medium flame for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the chopped greens and sauté for 30 seconds until wilted.
- Meanwhile, crack the eggs into a large bowl. Whisk well, along with milk, salt, pepper and herbs.
- Preheat the oven at 175°C.
- Spread out the sautéed vegetables in the pan in a single layer. Pour the egg mixture over the spread out vegetables. With a sharp spatula, keep making spaces in the frittata so the cooked egg portion moves aside and the liquid eggs reach the bottom of the pan to get cooked. Repeat this procedure all around the pan for 4-5 minutes, while the pan is on medium flame. Once the eggs are set at the bottom and nearly setting at the top, sprinkle the cheese over the top.
- Place the pan into the oven and bake for 5-7 minutes, until the top is fully set and cheese has melted.
- Cut into 4 wedges and serve with toast. This tastes good cold as well, inside a sandwich.
You can even mix the sautéed veggies and the egg mixture in a bowl and bake these directly in a mini muffin tin to get individual two-bite sized portions of the frittata.
So stock up on eggs and of course some bread, and get on with this utterly weekend-worthy breakfast this weekend!
Eggs are a complete protein, i.e.. supplying all the essential amino acids. So for an eggitarian, it is a no-brainer to include eggs as a part of the daily diet. Also, it is one of the few natural foods that provide Vitamin D, a deficiency that most of us city folk seem to be suffering from. Most of the vitamins and minerals and half the protein, is found in the yolk, so it is highly recommended that you eat the whole egg, unless you are eating more than 2 eggs in a day, in which case you can eat 2 whole eggs + egg whites.
Adding greens and veggies to the frittata are a great way of starting your day with a veggie-filled breakfast, that is otherwise tough when you have scrambled or boiled eggs with toast.
This is a diabetic friendly recipe. Serve the frittata with a whole grain toast, to keep the refined flour in the diet to a minimum.