Fritatta is one of those dishes often trotted out for brunches for many because its uses are several. It’s a great way to use up leftovers. You don’t need to make a huge amount because it can be one of those kitchen sink combinations. It is basically a quiche without a crust: whisk together some eggs and cream, add whatever you have on hand, bake it up. Bob’s your uncle (or Robert is your frère) and brunch is served.
That is certainly one approach, one I’ve used often and happily, I must add. However, it doesn’t work well when thinking about breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner for one. The “make a lot and eat it until it’s gone” philosophy got old way back in college. Years later, when I had a house full of family, I resurrected it with great success. In recent years, though, with a few notable exceptions, there has been a limit to the quantity of leftovers I’m willing to repurpose day after day after day, including working out of the freezer. Still, I love a fritatta, so I decided to see if I could whittle it down to size.
FRITATTA FOR ONE, OR TWO
Makes 2 6-ounce fritattas
The only true “recipe” aspect of a fritatta pertains to the ratio of eggs to servings, and that of eggs to cream (or half and half). Whether I’m making enough for one or two, or several, I use 2 eggs per person along with 1 ounce of cream for every 2 eggs. Beyond that, use whatever you like or have on hand. Be sure to gently sauté vegetables, then cool them, before adding them to the eggs and cream. If adding pancetta, bacon, sausage, etc., cook them first because they won’t be in the oven long enough to cook along with the fritatta. Besides, they taste much better when browned.
I hope you won’t be afraid of the bit of cream and some goat (or ricotta) cheese. Both will have a tenderizing effect of the eggs, so that when baked, they won’t have a trace of rubbery consistency.
1/2 yellow onion, fine dice
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon minced fresh herbs of your choice/combination: rosemary, thyme, tarragon, oregano
3 medium or 2 large button or crimini mushroom caps, 1/4″ slices
2 miniature colorful bell peppers, 1/4″ strips
1/2 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
4 large eggs
2 ounces cream
4 ounces goat cheese (or ricotta)
1 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
8 grinds of pepper
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Soft butter to brush ramekins
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Film the bottom of a skillet with olive oil and warm over medium heat. When hot (the oil will shimmer, or “ribbon”), add the onion along with a pinch of salt and your choice of herbs (I snipped some fresh tarragon). Sauté until onion is softened and herbs are fragrant.
- Add mushrooms and continue to sauté until they begin to release their water. Finally, add the tomatoes and peppers. Sauté until they release some of their water, a total of about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and spread the vegetables out on a plate, then set the plate in the refrigerator to cool a bit before you add them to the eggs.
- Whisk together the eggs and cream. When vegetables have lost their heat, stir them into the egg mixture.
- Brush the insides of 2 6-ounce ramekins with softened butter. Divide the egg mixture between them. With your fingers, break goat cheese into chunks the size of small cherry tomatoes, and drop them into the ramekins. If you are using ricotta instead, drop it in by half-teaspoon size amounts.
- Set ramekins on a baking sheet. Bake until puffed and lightly browned on top, about 30-35 minutes.
- While the fritattas are baking, prepared a generous green salad tossed with your favorite dressing.
- A microwave works perfectly well for reheating remaining servings. Just be sure to use it judiciously; proteins that have already been cooked tend to turn rubbery and odd of taste when reheated too much or too fast. Set a ramekin in the microwave, and heat for 2 minutes on medium power (#5), then let sit in the microwave for 2 minutes. Just before serving, heat for 30 seconds more, also on #5 power.