Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Potato & Italian Frying Pepper Frittata and How I Learned to Swear in Italian

One of my earliest and fondest food memories is that of my grandfather making frittata. It wasn’t the taste of this hearty, Italian omelet that made such an impression, although that was always wonderful, it was the excitement surrounding “the flip.”

Traditionally, a frittata is cooked about three-quarters of the way, flipped over on to a plate, and slid back into the pan to finish cooking the other side. It’s an hot, slippery exercise fraught with danger, and more than one of his magnificent creations ended up a broken mess. Come to think of it, this is where I first learned how to curse in Italian.

The funny thing is, as long as you have a broiler to finish cooking the top, which he did, you don’t need to flip anything. Just pop it in for a few minutes to firm up the eggs, and brown the cheese, and you’re ready to eat. So, why did he insist on the always risky flip-n-slid?

I’m not exactly sure, but I imagine it was because his father flipped frittatas, and so did his grandfather. That’s just the way they were done, so that’s how he did it. Regardless whether you’re flipping or not, this rustic egg pie was invented for late summer’s vegetable bounty.

If you can fry it in olive oil, it tastes great in a frittata, especially leftover vegetables that would otherwise end up in the trash. It’s also amazing with any kind of summer squash. Just remember that the veggies need to be tender before the eggs go in, since they cook so fast. I hope you give this “memorable” recipe a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 4 servings:
12 large eggs
1 tbsp olive oil
6 slices of bacon or pancetta
1 1/2 cups sliced peppers
1 1/2 cups cubed, cooked potatoes
OR about 3 cups of any summer veggies
dry or fresh herbs to taste
salt and pepper to taste
hot pepper flakes to taste
2 oz crumbled feta cheese
*Remember to drain oil before adding potatoes and eggs!