Italians are not known for eating large breakfasts. They might start their day with an espresso or cappuccino with a simple pastry, toast or cookie. The frittata, an egg-based Italian dish similar to an omelette, is typically eaten for lunch, dinner, or as a snack. At my house, we typically eat it as a weekend brunch or lunch.
My children like their scrambled eggs loose and fluffy, so making a cheesy, creamy frittata that is not too “eggy” is how I get them all to enjoy it. (I also keep it light on the vegetables, and often make it with potatoes, scallions, and just a few herbs instead). Frittatas keep well, so you can also use them as sandwich fillings or serve them with a simple green salad.
- 12 eggs, whisked just until the egg yolks and whites are blended
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream or half and half
- 3 cups cooked potatoes, sliced (you can also mix in some seasoned vegetables with your potatoes – just adjust the amount so that the total equals 3 cups)
- ½ cup of chopped scallions (include the green part)
- 1 cup (4 ounces) grated, shredded, or crumbled cheese (my preference is Grana Padano, Parmigiano Reggiano, or sharp cheddar)
- Salt to taste
- 2-3 chives, chopped
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2-3 leaves of fresh basil, chopped or torn for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Crack the eggs into a medium-size mixing bowl. Add your cream or half and half and the salt. Whisk just until the egg yolks and whites are blended.
- Whisk in all or half of the cheese (you can reserve the other half for topping the frittata before baking, if desired). Set the mixture aside.
- In a 12-inch cast iron skillet (or other oven-safe skillet), warm the olive oil over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Add the potatoes and scallions and cook for 2-3 minutes. Season with salt, to taste.
- Whisk the eggs again and pour over the potatoes. Using a spatula, distribute the mixture evenly across the pan. If you chose to reserve some of the cheese, sprinkle the remainder on top of the frittata now.
- Cook for approximately 30-60 seconds until the outside of the frittata turns lighter in color and then transfer the frittata to the oven.
- Bake for approximately 7-10 minutes, until the eggs are puffed and opaque, and the center of the frittata still shakes a little bit when you move the pan. (Remember that a frittata continues to cook after it’s removed from the oven, so leaving it a little loose is important so you don’t have a dry frittata with the texture of a sponge.)
- Garnish with a few basil leaves, slice, and serve.
Note: If your family likes vegetables in their frittatas, I like a zucchini, mozzarella and basil combination. Chives, bell pepper and basil also go well together. For something a little less Italian, I like manchego with cilantro and chives.