Monday, April 9, 2012

Simply Spinach Frittata

Sometimes it's fun to eat breakfast for dinner. My Mom, much to my great pleasure, often made scrambled eggs and pancakes and sausage for dinner. While that still sounds good to me, I eat a little differently now. Even my breakfast is filled with veggies. I've detailed the nutrition given the recipe as it is and set at a dinner portion, but do see the notes below for ways to lower the calories and ramp up the nutrition to suit the way you may eat.

Simply Spinach Frittata

The stuff to assemble:

1 9x13 pan sprayed with non-stick cookery spray
1 large skillet
2 T olive oil, divided use
1/2 of a large sweet onion chopped
16 oz (or more if you like) fresh spinach, torn in half
12 eggs, lightly beaten with a fork (my favorite humane egg in a store comes from Country Hen, but you may be even luckier and have a local farm source - buy from them, it is worth every penny.)
1 pound Jarlsberg, shredded
8 oz Parmesan, shredded
Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

What you need to do:

Always do your prep before starting the actual cookery. In a dish like this, stuff happens so fast at first, and if you aren't ready, you will be more likely to miss ingredients or make a humongous unmindful mess.

Once you have done the prep heat 1 T olive oil in the skillet over medium heat until the oil is shimmering. Add the onions and saute until they are nicely browned and caramelized. In order for the browning to happen, you have to let them sit a bit and not spend the entire time stirring. If you do that, they will cook to the point where they look a bit more translucent, but they will take a few hundred years to brown. So, stir them when you add them to get the olive oil distributed well and let them sit a couple minutes, stir, let them sit, etc.

Remove the onions to a plate or bowl to cool.

Add the second tablespoon of olive to the skillet and saute the spinach until it is nicely wilted. If you've never sauteed spinach before, trust me on this all that spinach will reduce dramatically within a few minutes. Suspend a fine mesh colander over your sink and dump the spinach in there. After it cools a bit, press the spinach with a wooden spoon squishing out much of the liquid. No need to get obsessive about squishing it completely dry, just get the bulk of it out or your frittata will not set well.

In a large bowl mix the beaten eggs, Jarlsberg, Parmesan, and fresh cracked black pepper. The mixture will be a bit thick. Add the onions and spinach and stir until the spinach is nicely distributed throughout.

If you haven't already sprayed the pan with non-stick spray, go ahead and do it now. Then tip in the egg spinach mixture and spread it out a bit until it is fairly even in height.

Pop into the oven and bake about 35 minutes. The whole thing will puff up a little bit and the top will brown prettily. To make sure it is done, insert a clean dry knife in the middle, if it comes out clean, it's done. If eggy stuff is on it cook a few more minutes. Tent for 10 minutes under aluminum foil, and serve.

Flexibility is incredibly mindful:

All ingredients can be adjusted to the proportions you need. All ingredients (except egg) can be replaced with food you prefer. You may not be a Jarlsberg person, so use sharp cheddar or your favorite whatever cheese. If you like feta, use that instead of Parmesan or use both Parmesan and feta. If you want less cheese, cut the quantity with no worries as to how it will turn out. If you LOVE spinach, you can easily dump in about 24 ounces. Other things to consider adding: sweet red pepper, sausage - crumbled cooked breakfast sausage or hot Italian sausage would work wonderfully, jalapenos, sauteed summer squash, banana peppers, use kale instead of spinach or use a mixture of both. Well, you get the idea.

We make this for dinner and then on the following day I love to cut a small square just the right size to sit between two halves of a whole wheat English muffin. Cut the square in half horizontally and put one piece on each of the muffin halves. Toast in the toaster oven, put the sandwich back together and enjoy.


  1. There is a way to do this without eggs. My mother made a "spinach souffle" without the accent on the e... "sue-ful" because it didn't rise :)
    2lbs of spinach, a pound of cottage cheese, 8 oz cheddar (though you could use fancier cheeses if you'd like), salt & pepper. It needs a little something to bind, like 1 egg or some matzoh meal. Bake for 45 minutes at 350.

    I'm going to try yours, too.

  2. what a marvelous idea! I am not a fan of cottage cheese, but I'm sure ricotta would do. Yes, one egg would help hold it together...I've never cooked with matzoh meal, but will check that out. This sounds like the spinach version of a corn "souffle" I make called Leggett Corn. It's bound together with saltine crackers that thicken up because they are combined with milk. Thanks!

  3. Could you use frozen spinach? Not too sure how that would affect sogginess!

  4. sure! Just thaw and squish out the excess liquid first.