An Italian frittata is like a big, open-faced omelette. Deriving from the verb “to fry,” a frittata is cooked more like a pie with eggs poured over all kinds of savory fillings. When finished, it’s cut into wedges that can be served for breakfast, as an hors d’oeuvres or next to a green salad. In other words, the kind of frittata you make and how you eat it is limited only by your imagination.
Having switched into fall, we wanted to make a frittata with seasonal vegetables in our food appreciations classes and that’s where our preparations start. For the filling, first cut 1/2 whole cauliflower into small florets. Toss these with a liberal amount of extra-virgin olive oil, season with salt and then spread them out on a baking sheet. Place in a 450-degree oven and roast until the florets are cooked through and browned. Set aside.
Meanwhile, in a heavy skillet, saute 1/2 medium onion cut into bite-size dice and 1/2 red bell pepper, also cut into bite-size dice. Cook, tossing occasionally, until the vegetables are cooked through and beginning to brown.
While the onion and red pepper are cooking beat six eggs in a mixing bowl until they begin to froth. Season with salt to taste. While the skillet is still hot, add the roasted cauliflower to the onion and peppers, toss to combine, then pour in the eggs. As far as the width and thickness of your frittata goes, much depends on the skillet you choose. If it’s too big, the frittata will be wide and thin. If it’s too small, the eggs might spill out. Ideally, you want something in the middle. Also, you want to use a skillet the eggs will not stick to.
As the eggs begin to cook and solidify on the bottom, use a heat-proof spatula to lift the egg at various points around the edge and tilt the skillet in that direction, so uncooked eggs run underneath. Continue this process, working your way around the pie back and forth, until most–if not all–of the uncooked egg has disappeared. More than likely, you will still have some wetness left on top of the frittata. Not to worry.
For the last step, grate a generous amount of gorgonzola cheese–the Italian blue cheese–over the top of the frittata using the large holes of a standard box grater. It helps if the cheese is cold.
At this point, you still need to cook the top of your frittata. Some chefs prefer to flip the frittata in the skillet and finish cooking it like a Spanish tortilla. But I think it’s easier and even more effective just to place the skillet under the broiler. Be sure your pan doesn’t have a plastic handle that will melt. I position the skillet so that the handle is as far away as possible from the heating elements. Keep your eye on things. But you will be able to smell the frittata brown as well. It’s done when it has swelled in size, the edges are well browned and any residual egg on top has cooked through.
Remove the skillet from the oven and use your spatula to slide the frittata out of the pan onto a cutting surface. You should have enough to make wedges for six servings.