The day after I came back from my trip I had all the best intentions to go grocery shopping and replenish my fridge. Then I got caught in enjoying being at home again.
Is it just me, or as we get older we do appreciate so much more coming home after having been away? No matter how luxurious or fun the trip was, everything at home has a familiar and newly rediscovered shine: my favorite coffee, brewed just the way I like it; my bed that smells of me; food that does not come from a restaurant kitchen. Ottie and Portia, incidentally, feel just the same.
I also got busy cleaning, doing the laundry and ending the afternoon on the couch with a new book. Alas, dinner was not going to prepare itself, nor do I live in a place where delivery is an option. Very few ingredients, though, were at the ready.
Enter the frittata, my quickest dinner solution. All you need is a few eggs and some Parmesan cheese for a basic one. Everything else is bonus.
Despite my 20 years in the States, I don’t see eggs as breakfast. There are some Italian habits I retained and cannot shed, how I use eggs being one of them. It would never occur to me to order frittata for breakfast – poached or scrambled is all I can manage. Frittata is to Italy what quiche is to France: interchangeable ingredients and served for lunch or dinner with a side salad. Voila.
There are only two secrets to a good frittata:
1. use more (good quality) Parmesan than you think you need, for flavor;
2. cook it until golden brown.
I use two eggs per person, crack them in a bowl and break them up with a fork.
Add a pinch or two of salt, a large helping of grated Parmesan (at least 3/4 cup for two people) and whatever else you have on hand: any chopped up vegetables, cooked or raw if they are not too hard; cheese (cheddar, ricotta, fontina); sun dried tomatoes or olives or capers. Really, it does not much matter.
In this particular instance I had some leftover asparagus and a couple of roasted red peppers. In they went. A sprinkle of black pepper and I mixed everything together.
Heat a non-stick frying pan coated with a bit of olive oil, slide the egg mixture in and let it cook on medium heat, lifting the sides of the frittata now and then, tilting the pan to allow the uncooked, top egg to slide under.
When you see a deep golden crust forming on the bottom, it’s time to turn the frittata over or, easier still, put it under the broiler for a couple of minutes (if the pan’s handle is not metal, I just wrap it in foil).
Transfer the whole frittata to a serving platter, cut it into wedges and serve it either hot or at room temperature.
And, if you are so inclined, any leftovers will be there for breakfast in the morning.
Top image from food.com