I hate to start off a Sunday afternoon post with a rant, but I just have to get it out. I’m done paying money for bad meals and mediocre food. Just done. It seems I’ve had some bad luck especially when it comes to breakfast or brunch outings (there have been a few dinners as well, darn it!), and I guess it’s partially my fault for trying to tweak a scramble so it’s made with egg whites or to ask for “easy cheese.” Maybe I should just order an omelet the way it is without adjustments. But even as I type that sentence, I’m not totally convinced that trying to eat relatively healthily at a restaurant is reason enough for a bad plate of food. What restaurant these days doesn’t offer a “substitute egg whites” option anyway? They all do, right? Grrrrr…..
Of course I’m certainly not speaking about ALL restaurants- that would be plain inaccurate and irresponsible. It just feels like I’ve had a string of so-so brunches so I decided to just make a restaurant-quality brunch at home. After all, I’m probably having these unpleasant brunch experiences because someone is trying to tell me that I need to be saving money anyway. At least that’s what I tell myself.
So for Sunday brunch at home, I whipped up this frittata loaded with vegetables I purchased at the Pasadena Farmer’s Market yesterday. It has fingerling potatoes, zucchini, red onions, red bell peppers, rosemary, beet greens, thyme and is all finished off with dollops of homemade basil pesto. You can certainly make it with whatever veggies and herbs you have on hand, but I’d highly recommend using pesto in the eggs- it adds fantastic flavor makes it unnecessary to put any cheese in the dish.
One important thing to remember when making frittata with vegetables: when using water-heavy veggies like zucchini or mushrooms, make sure you saute them until the water is released and evaporates. If you don’t, you could end up with a watery frittata. Also be careful not to overbake it because you don’t want the top to brown too much…crusty, brown eggs just aren’t that appealing. In order to prevent this from happening, I cover the baking dish with foil for the first part of the baking time and then uncover and lightly broil the top for the last few minutes.
I made this with a combination of Egg Beaters (someone in our household is watching their cholesterol!) and egg whites (good for texture- I find Egg Beaters to be on the thin side) but you can certainly use all whole eggs OR all egg whites if you like. We ate thick slabs of frittata with some peppered turkey bacon and toasted English muffins and it made a pretty awesome brunch!
Spring Vegetable Frittata (for two hungry people or four less-hungry ones!)Cooking spray 1 fingerling potato, sliced thin 1/4 large red onion, sliced thin 1 small zucchini, cubed 1 tsp rosemary, chopped fine 1 tsp thyme, chopped fine 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper 1/2 cup julienned beet greens (I just happened to have beets with the tops left on so I used these, but spinach, arugula or kale would be great too) 2 egg whites 1 cup Egg Beaters 2 TBS basil pesto salt/pepper Preheat oven to 425. In a medium saute pan, heat cooking spray and add the potatoes and onions. Add salt and pepper and saute until the potatoes start to brown and start to soften a bit. Add the zucchini, rosemary, thyme and bell pepper and saute until they lose their water and become tender. Add whatever greens you are using, saute for about 2 minutes more and give the veggie mixture a taste; adjust seasoning as necessary. Spray a baking dish (I used a small, oval one about 8 inches long- you want the veggies to be tightly packed, not spread out) with cooking spray and spread the veggie mixture evenly over the bottom of the dish (it’s ok if the veggies are not in a single layer). In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites and Egg Beaters together, season with salt and pepper. Pour egg mixture over the veggies, then put dollops of pesto all over the top and take a fork to slightly swirl each dollop so you’ve got a nice, even layer of pesto on the eggs. Cover with tin foil and bake about 15 minutes- it should be mostly set but the top will still wiggle a bit. Return to the oven for another 3-6 minutes, checking here and there to make sure it isn’t browning too much. Take it out of the oven, let it rest for a couple of minutes and then slice and serve.