Left over from the New Year’s Eve dinner, I had some sauteed spinach and feta and decided to make a frittata for brunch the following day. I also had some leftover watercress, so I made a salad, same as the night before, only omitting the feta, which was now in the frittata.
The technique of making the frittata is simple. Heat whatever vegetable(s) you’re using in the same skillet in which you’ll make the frittata any green vegetable–zucchini and onion in summer, spinach or swiss chard in winter, asparagus in spring, then fold in the eggs and cook.
In this case, the spinach had already been sauteed the evening before, so i just put the cold spinach in a cold skillet (8″ diameter) with a bit of butter and gently warmed it. I like to use a small skillet to make frittata in because the smaller the skillet, the higher (and potentially fluffier) the fritatta. I usually use some butter because eggs pair well with butter, but sometimes I use only olive oil.
When the spinach begins to sizzle I add the egg mixture with the heat at medium and start stirring immediately. Stir the whole thing around for about thirty seconds and then let it begin to set. Turn the heat down to low. Without stirring, gently lift each side of the frittata with a heatproof rubber spatula and let any loose egg from the top run down to the underside and lower. This will insure that once the frittata is brown on the outside, it’s cooked through to the inside (the taller the frittata, the more important to make sure it’s cooked all the way through).
The only tricky part of the frittata is flipping it. (Some people recommend simply putting the uncooked side under the broiler, in which no flipping is required but I prefer to flip). Simply take a large plate (larger than the skillet) and invert the plate on top of the skillet and with the palm of your hand on the plate, take the skillet and plate and flip, then gently slide the frittata back into the skillet to brown on the other side. Gently lift the frittata to check on the underside, which should become as golden as the first side. Then slide onto a clean plate.
Let the frittata rest for at least ten or fifteen minutes (or it can come to room temperature) before serving. It’s also great straight from the fridge on a buttered heated soft and dough-y roll the next day (like a portuguese roll or even a good kaiser roll or burger bun).
Use the freshest, finest quality eggs you can find (I use either “Country Hen” organic eggs or eggs from “North Sea Farms,” our local poultry farm in Southampton).
I add a little half-and-half (or even heavy cream if I happen to have some) because I find it adds a creaminess to the finished dish, whereas eggs alone make for a more rubbery frittata. A touch of ricotta is also nice to add for a neutral creaminess (with no saltiness).
You can vary the filling-to-egg ratio–if I have a lot of vegetables to use up, I use more vegetables and less egg (if I really have a lot of vegetables or am serving a large group, of course, I use a larger skillet and many more eggs).
Lastly, the salt content of a well-made frittata can vary widely. If you’re starting out with an already cooked and seasoned vegetable, like I did with my leftover spinach, you’ll need less salt. If you’re adding a salty cheese like parmiggiano, or in this case, feta, you’ll need less salt as well. Although I usually don’t give salt quantities in my recipes, I’ll give one here, but ultimately the amount of salt you use will depend on the salinitiy of your other ingredients. The quantity I’ve provided here allows for the already-salty spinach and the already-salty feta.
This frittata, however is for two or three people.
Spinach and Feta Frittata
12 oz sauteed spinach (or a box of frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed)
2 tbl butter (less if the spinach has already been cooked with oil or butter)
1 tbl olive oil
4 large eggs
2 oz. feta, crumbled
2 tbl fresh ricotta
3 tbl half-and-half or heavy cream
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
pinch of nutmeg
In an 8″ nonstick skillet, melt butter in oil and add spinach. Note: if you’re using an already pre-cooked vegetable, use less butter and oil. Bring to a simmer on medium heat.
In a mixing bowl, add the remaining ingredients and whisk to combine. When the spinach is sizzling, pour in the egg mixture and gently stir for about thirty seconds. Let set for about a minute, then lift each side to let any runny eggs run down to the underside.
After about eight to ten minutes, check the underside by gently lifting with spatula–it should be golden.
Invert a large plate over the skillet and, while securing the plate with the palm of your hand, flip the frittata onto the plate, then slide back into the skillet and let brown on the other side.
The whole process should take about fifteen minutes, depending on the strength of your flame.
Let rest for at least fifteen minutes.