Today we will see how to make a spinach frittata and it’s easier than you think!
I like eggs, they are incredibly versatile and taste already delicious on their own but also as an addition to dishes. In the case of the frittata eggs are its key ingredient. Frittatas can be served as a main dish, but also work perfectly as a starter or as an outstanding addition to your next brunch!
What exactly is a frittata? Ultimately it’s an egg-based cake, cooked either on the stove, in the oven or a combination of both. A frittata is an Italian dish and the word derives from the Italian word friggere, which can be translated as “fried”.
A frittata is prepared in a frying pan and the most important ingredient apart from the eggs is patience. In comparison to scrambled eggs, which are stirred occasionally until ready to serve, or an omlette which is like a thin pancake folded in half, a frittata will not be touched once the eggs are added to the pan until the dish is ready. This shows why patience is key.
In order to create a delicious and juicy frittata the cooking process requires time as the eggs will be cooked at a low heat. Depending on the amount of eggs and the shape of your pan this process can take anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes.
There is no real traditional frittata recipe out there as the dish mainly uses leftover ingredients, such as pasta or potatoes, but of course also vegetables, cheese or other sources of protein (sausages, bacon, etc.). Those ingredients give a lot of flavour to our frittata. Nevertheless as the eggs are the base of the meal the quality of the eggs will decide the general outcome of the dish. Therefore I urge you to use high quality eggs, for example from free-range chickens or an organic farm. You will definitely see the difference (the eggs look better, more natural, the shells are sturdier) and I’m certain you’ll taste it.
As I recently got hold on some very delicious looking baby spinach, I chose to go for the spinach frittata. Adding spinach to a frittata has many positive side effects:
- it tastes great
- it is rich in Vitamins A, C and B-6, but also rich in iron and magnesium
- it contains a wooping 2.2 g of dietary fiber per 100g (Great for your digestion!)
- it keeps the frittata moist (giving you a safety net)
- it adds a deep color to the frittata making it even more visually appealing
There are several advantages of baby spinach, which is nothing else than early harvested spinach. Most importantly as it is harvested early on the stems couldn’t fully develop yet. This results in a very appealing green color, but more importantly leaves the leaves (no pun intended) very tender. In my opinion this also enhances the texture of the leaves in general, as compared to older spinach. For the time savy, young spinach usually doesn’t require much cleaning, saving you a lot of time and effort. All of this makes this spinach also perfect for your next salad.
Tips for your Frittata Preparation
From many conversations I had in the past, people seem to be somewhat intimitaded when it comes to cooking with eggs. The one (1) constant problem that popped up (for scrambled eggs, omelette or frittata) was that the eggs tend to be overcooked, thus resulting in a nasty and dry dish.
Another common preparation problem (2) seems to be that part of the egg mixture is almost burnt while the rest is still runny. This is especially precarious when you want to prepare an omelette or a frittata.
The last issue (3) my discussions (Yes, I talk a lot about food!) highlighted, was the fact that egg dishes were allegedly “boring”.
Let’s see how we can solve those points:
- The common problem of overcooked eggs can be rather easily avoided. If this happens to you, I’d advise you to reduce the heat with which you cook your eggs. Now the eggs need more time to solidify, giving you more time to spot the right moment until the eggs are perfect.
Keep in mind that the eggs are done when they are slightly runny. The remaining heat will do the rest. Don’t wait until all the eggs are solid, your result won’t be juicy at all.
Add ingredients which contain fluids, such as spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes or paprika. They will help you to keep your eggs moist.
Or just add fluids in general, like some (soy) milk, water (sparkling water makes it fluffy), or juice (such as tomatoe juice).
Finally you can add some more fat to your eggs. This is possible in many variations, some olive oil, butter or grated cheese. This also adds some more moisture.
- You might add fat not only for moisture reasons, but also to keep the eggs from burning. You either add fat into the eggs or put a little more into your frying pan. This increases the chances of having deliciously colored eggs.
Nevertheless the main reason for something to burn is heat, so reduce it if you usually end up burning your eggs.
- Like many foods, eggs are boring without proper seasoning. They taste unoriginal and don’t give you any mental satisfaction. Add more salt and pepper to your eggs to start with. Eggs can go with a lot of salt but don’t overdo it. Next you add a few herbs, try what you like. Maybe add some hot sauce, garlic or ground ginger. That’s how I did it. I tried many seasoning variations and figured out what I liked and what goes well together. Even a plain egg tastes great with some salt, pepper, chili flakes, ground nutmeg and a pinch of ground tumeric!
Add more ingredients to add flavour. You have leftovers? Put them into your scrambled eggs. This works well with bacon, but also with ham, sausage, and tofu. There are ugly looking carrots in your frigde? Great, works well for your frittata. You can easily empty your pantry with egg dishes.
Here’s how I applied those tipps to my own frittata:
- I used several sources of flavour. The salt and fat was mainly provided from the parmesan and goat cheese.
- The sun-dried tomatoes and the ground nutmeg add a lot of flavour.
- The spinach gives some more moisture.
- The soy milk gives more moisture and adds flavour.
There’s really no need to be afraid of cooking eggs. Give them a try and let me know how it turned out or what issues you faced. Looking forward hearing from your results!