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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Italian Fritata

I love making frittatas for breakfast because they are easy to make and very versatile. I enjoy making this Italian frittata for guests at our Cape Cod Bed and Breakfast because it is not only healthy and delicious, it is colorful and beautiful when it is served.

A frittata is really just a flat omelet that is baked in the oven. Some people start them on the top of the stove in a large skillet and then finish them off in the oven. I prefer to put all the ingredients into a baking dish and bake it in the oven. That just seems to work better for me when I am making breakfast for any number of people. I do prepare two smaller dishes rather than one larger one because they bake in less time and I am sure of having them bake all the way through.

This recipe serves 4. You can use many types of vegetables in the frittata, you just need to make sure they don’t release too much liquid. Roasted vegetables are wonderful in this. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cooking time varies depending on the size of the frittata. You want it to cook through so that the eggs are set and do not ooze or jiggle.

4 shallots peeled and sliced into thin slices,
1 cup baby bella (brown) mushrooms, sliced,
4 small tomatoes ( I use Campari or Roma tomatoes) sliced and seeded,
1 cup fresh Spinach loosely packed,
4 to 6 large fresh basil leaves, torn,
6 to 8 eggs, depending on the size of the eggs,
Lemon pepper (I use Trader Joe’s blend) to taste ( about ½ teaspoon),
Sea salt to taste (about ½ teaspoon),
¼ to ½ cup cheese,
1 Tbls. Olive Oil,
1 Tbls. cold water,

Slice the tomatoes, remove the seeds, and drain on paper towels. This can be done ahead. In a small skillet at medium temperature heat olive oil. Add shallots and cook until translucent. Add cold water to caramelize. When done,  remove from skillet and set aside to cool. Use the same warm skillet to cook mushrooms just until they release their juices. Remove from skillet and set aside to cool.

Spray a baking dish with cooking spray (I use canola oil or olive oil spray). Layer the shallots, mushrooms, spinach, basil leaves, and tomatoes. Sprinkle the cheese over the layered vegetables. (You may do 2 layers like this if you would like a thicker frittata.) Beat eggs with sea salt and lemon pepper and pour evenly over vegetables. (Vegetables may not be completely covered.) Bake until set. Take out of oven and let set for about 5 minutes before serving. It is ok if it sets longer as this is also good at room temperature. Cut into portions and serve.

We serve this frittata with turkey sausage or bacon and either potato gratin or mini-muffins….Enjoy!

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