Wednesday, 12 August 2009

In which I interrupt scheduled programming for a brief dissertation on frittata

Posted by Tania Kindersley.

I know this was billed as America week, and I promised you all the good political stuff, but today I did not have the heart to ask why it is that people will go around shouting Nazi at a perfectly nice, rather moderate, democratically elected politician. The reason I lost heart is that I have a horrible, horrible suspicion it is because he is black. And then we are onto the whole why on earth would you get so upset about a little bit of pigmentation argument and I never know the answer to that. I know the theories about out-groups and I know the ancient fear of the other, but sometimes an explanation does not add up to a good reason. I never saw anyone less other in my life than Barack Obama. Also, the Republicans are being very, very rude about the NHS, and although I freely admit that it is frayed around the edges and nothing like as shiny and efficient as it should be, it is our NHS, and I hold a twisted pride that it should have existed for sixty years. It's like family: we can be rude about it, but don't anyone else dare laugh and mock the old lady.

So I made some frittata to take my mind off it, and I'm going to write about that instead. My frittata can be a little hit and miss, but this one was a dilly. I made it up according to what was in the fridge, which this evening happened to be leeks, courgettes, peas and parmesan, with a tiny bit of chilli for oomph. I like to make sure all the food groups are represented.

So, for two people -

Take five or six eggs and whisk them gently with a pinch of sea salt. Very finely slice one leek and one courgette. In a small, non-stick saucepan, add a dollop of olive oil and gently cook the vegetables for about ten minutes until they are soft, but there is still some life in them. At the end of the cooking time, throw in a handful of frozen petit pois, and swish about until they are bright and green and not frozen any more - it takes about a minute. Add a pinch of sea salt, a scattering of torn basil leaves, a snip of dried chilli, and a quick grate of parmesan cheese. This last is entirely according to taste, it depends how cheesy you feel. Put the heat up to medium, add the eggs, stir about a very little to make sure everything is evenly spread, and then leave to cook for five minutes.
Here it is, on the stove.
Grate a little more parmesan on the top and finish off under a medium grill until the thing is firm - it should not take more than a couple of minutes.

And there you are - a lovely, easy, quick, credit-crunchy supper. It looks very pretty on a white plate, perhaps with a tomato salad on the side. Sadly my food photography skills are not accomplished enough to reproduce the full beauty of the dish, but it should look something like this -

It's not quite Martha Stewart, but it's mine, and I loved it.


  1. That looks delish. Mine always turns out too dry, think I cook it for too long.

    I'm with you on the NHS, it's actually quite brilliant, and I'm not even English, though after 25 years think I might be entitled to some kind of a medal...

  2. Am overjoyed. Will be back when have more time to languish over everything I've missed. xxx

  3. I did feel cheesy last night - most peculiar supper combo of things hanging around needing using and only me to cook for - I've put the link in below. I wouldn't say I would recommend this overly highly if you're in a sunshiney mood, but dark bitter greens and melted cheese were almost right last night.

  4. Helena - it has taken me years to get the frittata right, and I think you are quite correct - just a delicate amount of cooking over a medium heat, and then don't put the grill up too high. Such satisfaction though when the thing comes good.

    So Lovely - HURRAH HURRAH HURRAH, you are here at last. Confirms my enduring belief that one really can make things work if one bashes away and refuses to give up.

    Jo - Ah, ah, love almost nothing more than some dark bitter greens. Also take great pleasure in making up new recipes from random things lurking in the frigidaire.


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