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Frittata

(recipe, Kim Carlson)


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Introduction

Frittatas. For years I started them on the stovetop, then finished in a hot oven — a perfectly acceptable approach. But it wasn't until I began to finish my frittatas under the broiler that they became exceptional. The eggs puff up and stay light and the toppings brown and crisp perfectly, while the frittata bottom escapes scorching. An added bonus is that this approach takes less time. A 12-inch (30 cm) cast-iron skillet is my preferred pan for frittatas, but any ovenproof pan will do. For a smaller crowd, use the same technique but halve the amount of eggs, cheese, and vegetables.

Ingredients

  1. 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil or melted clarified butter, plus more for drizzling
  2. 2 small onions, chopped
  3. 8 oz. (225 g) new potatoes, unpeeled, sliced into paper-thin rounds
  4. 2 shallots, chopped
  5. Fine-grained sea salt
  6. 8 oz. (225 g) seasonal vegetables, such as summer squash, broccoli, or asparagus, cut into ½-inch (1 cm) pieces
  7. 10 large eggs, well beaten
  8. ¼ cup (1 oz. or 30 g) crumbled goat or feta cheese
  9. Small bunch of chives, chopped

Steps

  1. Heat the oil or butter in a heavy ovenproof 12-inch (30 cm) skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the onions, potatoes, half of the shallots, and two big pinches of salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the vegetables and cook for another minute or two, until they soften up a bit. Set aside half of this mixture on a plate.
  2. Whisk ½ teaspoon salt into the eggs and pour the eggs into the skillet. Cook over medium-low heat until the eggs are just set and there isn't a lot of liquid in the pan, about 5 minutes. To facilitate this, run a spatula underneath the perimeter of the frittata and tilt the pan so the uncooked eggs run to the underside. The key is to avoid browning on the bottom. Top with the reserved vegetable mixture and sprinkle with the cheese and the remaining shallot.
  3. Place under a broiler (a low setting will give you more control, if you have that option) for a couple of minutes, or just until the top of the frittata is puffed up and set. Resist the urge to walk away — the frittata can go from perfect to burned in just a few seconds. Remove from the broiler and let sit for a minute or two. Sprinkle with the chives, drizzle with a bit of olive oil, and serve warm or at room temperature, right out of the pan.

Note

I make dozens of variations on this recipe, using whatever vegetables are in season. I do one variation where I whisk 2 teaspoons of Thai curry paste into the eggs, and use broccoli as the vegetable. In another version, curry powder is the spicing and cauliflower is the vegetable.