Everyone has memories of the distinctions in relaxation of the “weekend” growing up. I sure do. The long awaited luscious “TGIF” with its visions of– Yayyy, I’m allowed to play all day! Now my philosophy has evolved to “TGIT” which stands for “Thank God It’s Today,” a wonderful acronym coined, and book written, by a good friend and mentor of mine. Grateful for every day, I find ways to play daily. Life is too short not to enjoy the Now.
Weekend food was always a bit different, more special somehow. The easy pace of Saturday and Sunday mornings meant there were always eggs in whatever formation my heart desired – sunny side up, scrambled, an omelette, or frittata. Often my mom would lovingly prepare fresh squeezed orange juice or make me a grapefruit soup, essentially the grapefruit sections taken out individually and swimming in a bowl of the grapefruit’s juice. While she was cooking, I’d run out down Bleecker St. to Zitos for a fresh baked loaf of Italian bread. Ahhh, the loaves were always warm – a perfectly crunchy crust on the outside, and soft but with density, airy and with texture on the inside – the most wonderful bread. It always smelled incredible in that store, and Mr. Zito himself was there behind the counter making sure all the customers were happy.
The frittata is one of my favorite foods for sure. It’s simple to make with gently layered tastes sure to please even the most fussy of palates, (that is if they eat eggs of course). You may sub and customize combinations of many options for frittata ingredients – veggies, meats, cheeses. Here I’m going to share the recipe for one of my vegetarian favorites.
Frittata with Organic tomato, vidalia onion, zucchini and baby spinach Serves 2
1/4 or 1/8 of a medium size vidalia onion
grape tomatoes (use about 8-10), if you buy a regular tomato use 1/2
1/2 a medium zucchini
2 handfuls of baby spinach
tumeric powder (preferable, not required)
oregano (dried or fresh if possible)
cayenne (optional, very little used)
sea salt and black pepper
(Other options: cheese -vegan or dairy, thinly sliced virgina ham or smoked turkey, other veggies.)
Use organic where possible. I choose vidalia onion, but red or yellow will work, as will shallots. (You can also sub scallions, but it will be different.)
1. Take out all of your ingredients, wash where applicable – 1st slice 1/4 of a medium size vidalia onion relatively thinly, so you have 1/2 circle thin slices.
2. Dice your tomatoes, if you buy grape tomatoes (use about 8-10) it saves time – then you just slice them in thirds (Less labor). If you buy a regular tomato use 1/2 and chop.
3. Slice your zucchini in 1/2 length-wise, and then relatively thin slices across-wise. So you’ll have a pile of 1/2 circles. (Use 1/2 a zucchini)
4. IF you do use some ham or turkey, take each piece of meat and roll it up in a tube, then slice it in rounds.
5. IF you do use some cheese, it’s best grated, or if it’s in slices then slice further into thin rectangles.
-Once you have everything sliced and diced, start a non-stick frying pan heating with 1-2 tb. of olive oil (I always use cold pressed extra virgin.) Put in your onions with a medium heat 4ish on electric stove.
-Take out your eggs – (Use 2 per person). I buy organic free range, vegetarian fed eggs. Whisk those in a small bowl while the onion is heating. You can use a whisk or fork to make sure the yolks and whites are nicely combined. When this is done,
-Add the zucchini slices, and sprinkle of sea salt and a sprinkle of tumeric powder, and a VERY small sprinkle of cayenne if you like – stir around with a spatula.
-Leave cooking for 2 minutes, stir occasionally.
– Add your tomatoes. You may add another pinch of sea salt. Possibly a drizzle more of olive oil at this point and some oregano (a sprinkle or two if dried, if fresh 3 stalks worth of just the leaves – Give them a chop to release the flavors), stirring occasionally.
– A few more minutes, you want the onions very soft, the tomatoes cooked down, and the zucchini starting to get wrinkley. These 3 ingredients should look like the flavors have melded. It’s ok and favorable if a little browning starts to happen.
– If using sliced virgina ham or smoked turkey here – add now, stir around a bit, doesn’t need cooking just combine.
– Give the eggs another whisk, and add them to the pan. pick up the pan and move it around so the eggs are evenly coating the bottom. Then use the spatula and quickly stir around the ingredients across the eggs, so that the veggies and flavors are evenly distributed across the eggs.
-You should see the eggs starting to coagulate along the sides of the pan, this is good. Take your spatula and move the eggs away from the edge, and tip the pan so the remaining egg liquid goes into the small area you moved it away from the side. This is gentle. You’re just ensuring a)the eggs don’t stick to the side, and b) that the eggs cook in layers and get some air into them. You may do this a few times, as they are cooking. Keep moving the edges away from the sides of the pan, and moving the liquid around into those edges to cook.
– When the eggs look like they’re glossy on top if you want shredded or slices of cheese, sprinkle across top of eggs. Do the same with your baby spinach leaves, and then gently move the spatula under 1/2 the eggs in the fry pan, and carefully quickly fold over. If it doesn’t fold perfectly that’s ok. Immediately add a few tbs of filtered/bottled water and put a lid on the pan. – Let steam for a few minutes, til water is gone.
-Peek under lid, and check. It’ll puff up a bit with the steam. When you cut the eggs in 1/2 with your spatula so now you have 2 triangles, you should see eggs, not runny, cheese melted, and spinach wilted. It should still be moist while cooked through.
– Take your spatula and lift out onto 2 plates. Sea salt and coarse black pepper to taste. If you have fresh parsley can garnish with a bit.
– Serve with toast of your choice, or on a heated wrap, tortilla, atop quinoa, with a side salad, some potatoes – OR – a frittata is fabulous just on it’s own!