Frittatas are easy to make, delicious and nutritious, so they tick all the boxes for the beginner cook.
Based on the simple idea of frying ingredients in a pan and combining them with beaten eggs – an idea that dates back to the ancient Persians – the frittata as we know it comes to us from Italy, where slices are often taken to work for lunch, and served as snacks in bars.
When I was a child my mother made what she called a Spanish omelet, first frying diced onions and chunks of parboiled potatoes before adding the egg mixture.
The resulting golden disc, finished off under the grill, was in fact close to the classic Spanish tortilla.
If there is one word that sums up the "rustic egg cake", as one food writer put it, it is "versatile".
Frittatas can be served for brunch, lunch or dinner (Sunday night) and eaten hot, cold or warm.
Delicious picnic fare, they can be dressed up with a scattering of fresh herbs (parsley, mint, thyme) on top and a salad, and children love them topped with tomato sauce.
Once you know how to make them you can vary the fillings to suit your budget and tastebuds; they are a great way to use up leftovers and make a not-so-cheap ingredient go further.
Try different fresh herbs in the mixture and grated cheese on top.
This recipe is particularly good served with a salad of lettuce, tomato, capsicum and a few chopped black olives, dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Potato and Bacon Frittata
• 2 Tbsp olive oil
• 1 medium onion, diced
• 4 rashers streaky bacon, chopped
• 3 medium potatoes, cooked and chopped
• 5-6 eggssalt and pepper to taste
• 2 Tbsp chopped parsley
Heat olive oil over a medium heat in a heavy-based non-stick pan. Fry onion gently until it begins to soften (about 8 mins). Add bacon pieces and cook until crispish, stirring occasionally with a spatula.Add chopped potatoes and cook until potato begins to colour.
Stir from time to time to cook potato evenly and prevent bits sticking to the pan.In a bowl, lightly beat eggs with a fork, add salt, pepper and parsley and stir to combine.
Pour egg mixture into the pan.Cook until underside is golden-brown – check by lifting edge with a spatula.Put pan under a medium grill and cook until top is golden.
Slide spatula around edges to ensure frittata is not sticking and slide on to a warmed plate.
Cut into wedges and serve.
Some filling variations
Kumara, spinach and fetaBroccoli and baconAsparagus and hamPotato, bacon, peas and mintCourgette, red capsicum, olives and thymeChorizo sausage, capsicumCooked chicken, tomato and beans
- The Southland Times
If you had to, which would you give up for a week?Related story: The best chocolate recipes ever