Eggs are such a handy go-to ingredient when you want a quick, satisfying and high-protein meal that will keep you going for a while. A frittata is one of my favourite ways of cooking eggs as it has all those qualities, plus it’s a great way of using up left-overs.
What makes this version slightly different is the optional squeeze of lemon juice, the idea of which popped into my head literally as I was busy cooking it. The potato seems to hold the lemony taste, which lifts the whole dish.
You can use pretty much anything for your frittata ‘filling’ – veggies, meat or even fish. I happened to have a cooked potato in the fridge, which needed using and fortuitously also acted as the lemon juice sponge. The combination of onion, spinach and cheese is one of my favourites, so those were the other natural filling choices for me.
I had both normal and mature cheddar on hand so I used a combination of both. You can basically use any cheese, from soft ones like brie or camembert through to hard cheeses like cheddar or feta. The frittata works particularly well with cheeses that melt nicely though, adding to the soft and gooey texture. So if I add something like feta, it’s more for taste than texture as it kind of dissolves rather than melting.
You could just use the eggs as is but they are prone to overcooking quite quickly so I like to add something like buttermilk or cream to soften the texture a bit. The added advantage of buttermilk is that it adds a slight tang along with the creaminess, which works well with the spinach (and the lemon).
If you want to serve more than one person at once, you can either use two pans or add a lot of filling ingredients so the frittata ends up quite thick. If you are using 2 eggs per person, you will obviously have more eggs as well so it will just take a bit longer to cook through.
If it’s quite thick, it may not fold over, in which case it is sometimes easier to cut it in half or quarters before transferring a piece at a time to the plates. Either way, don’t expect it to come out perfectly as it’s supposed to be soft and will therefore fall apart easily.
A frittata can actually be served hot or cold, although the egg will be a bit tougher when it’s cold and the cheese obviously won’t be gooey as it will have set. You could eat it as a complete meal all on its own, but it’s particularly nice served with different textures like crispy bacon and fresh tomato on the side. Yum!
- 1½T butter
- 1 small red onion, sliced
- 2c spinach leaves, stalks removed
- 1 cooked potato
- ½c cheese
- Pinch ground or grated nutmeg (optional)
- Squeeze of lemon juice (optional)
- 2 eggs
- 1T buttermilk
Melt the butter in a frying pan and add the onions.
Cook on low, stirring occasionally, until the onions start to caramelise – usually about 10 minutes.
In the meantime, wash the spinach, slice up the potato and grate the cheese.
Whisk the eggs with the buttermilk.
Preheat the grill now.
When the onion is ready, add the spinach and potato, then the nutmeg and lemon juice.
Cook for 2 – 3 minutes, stirring so it doesn’t stick, until the spinach is just starting to wilt.
Sprinkle over the cheese but don’t stir again.
Pour the egg and buttermilk mixture over on top of the cheese.
Continue cooking on low for 3 to 5 minutes without stirring – you will see the egg starting to puff up.
Then place under the grill for literally 1 to 2 minutes just to finish setting the top if need be. It should still be soft but not runny. Watch it carefully as it overcooks quickly and the egg can become quite tough.
Using a spatula, gently loosen the frittata from the pan and flip one half over onto the other (if possible), then carefully transfer to a plate in as close to one piece as you can manage.
Serve hot or cold with crispy bacon, plus some fresh tomato and avocado if you like.
© Alexandra Lawrence and Inspired Nourishment, 2014