dinner No. 3: frittata
Spinach-Ricotta Frittata with wholegrain toast and balsamic-macerated strawberries
A flute with no holes is not a flute. A donut with no hole is a danish ... And a quiche with no crust is a frittata! Sorry, couldn't help myself with the Caddyshack reference. Anyway, frittatas are versatile little numbers that can be decked out with any number of fillings, both vegetable and protein alike. Just start with a quick sauté of the "filling" and then add the egg mixture. The addition of the fresh ricotta adds a creaminess and fluffiness that elevates it from the standard egg-and-milk base typically utilized.
Serves 2 adults, 2 hungry bambinos
3 tablespoons olive oil
Half a large onion sliced thinly into half moons
4 handfuls of baby spinach leaves, large stems removed
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
¼ cup grated cheese: something nutty like an aged cheddar, Parmigiano or gruyere
Accompaniment: wholegrain toast with butter and balsamic-macerated strawberries (recipe below)
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Coat the bottom of a large ovenproof skillet with the olive oil. Add the onions and a generous pinch of salt and pepper to taste and sauté over medium heat until the onions are translucent and very aromatic, 5 to 7 minutes. Add spinach until wilted and tender, roughly 2-3 minutes
Meanwhile, whisk eggs until frothy; add ricotta and whisk until smooth (some elbow grease is needed for this step). Fold in cheese.
Add the egg mixture to the sautéed onions and spinach and stir to incorporate the vegetables evenly. Cook the frittata on the stovetop until the eggs start to set (1-2 minutes, then transfer the skillet to the oven. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until firm.
Cut into wedges and serve immediately. Or let cool and serve at room temperature.
The Italians call sweet-and-sour agrodolce and this is a perfect treatment for California strawberries whose flavor cannot hold a candle to sun-ripened, local, in-season strawberries for which we have to wait many months to enjoy! In cooking terms, macerate means to soak in a liquid in order of soften. Just don't let these soak too long, or they'll get mushy.
1 pint strawberries, preferably organic, quartered
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
2-3 tablespoons honey
Pinch of sea salt
2 twist of freshly ground black pepper
In a small saucepan over medium heat, boil the balsamic vinegar until reduce to a syrupy liquid. Remove from heat and add honey, salt and pepper. Swirl to combine and allow to cool slightly. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed
Place strawberries in a bowl and drizzle with the honey-vinegar mixture. Stir to coat berries and allow them to sit for 10-15 minutes before serving.
Happy eating, -s.