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Garlic Scape Frittata

Posted by Dani on June 25, 2012


Frittata is one of those staple dishes in my house that we rely on for last minute meals. All you need is a few eggs and some ingredients to enhance the flavour. Asparagus, onion, spinach, chives, zucchini, bacon, ham or pancetta work well. And a touch of parmesan or another kind of cheese is a must. The best part of this dish is that it can be made in minutes from ingredients you often have on hand, served hot or at room temperature, and leftovers taste great when reheated. What’s not to love?

This frittata was made for a last minute lunch when my parent showed up at my house. The kids happened to be home, so we needed to feed 5 people fast. A little salad and a scape frittata did the trick. We happen to have lots of scapes on had this time of year, since my garlic-loving parents are crazy enough to put 900 plants of garlic into their cottage garden. The scapes are the edible curling tops of the garlic plants that need to be trimmed in order for the bub to develop. They’re great for making interesting flower arrangments, but in my practical Italian family they generally wind up in your meal. They cook up beautifully, adding a mild garlic flavour to your dish, and they freeze well so it’s easy to keep some on hand.

The basic frittata recipe is pretty simple. Add some olive oil to a pan, sauté your vegetables and other ingredients, add the eggs and cook gently until the bottom sets, and finish off under the broiler to cook the top. We always mix a little salt, milk and parmesan into the beaten eggs. As a rough guideline, use about 1½ eggs per person. For the vegetables, I often start off with some onion and then add things like asparagus, spinach, parsley, chives, diced zucchini or red peppers. Even some diced potato works well. A handful of ham, prosciutto, bacon or sausage adds a nice flavour boost if you happen to have some on hand – I usually add these before the veggies. My kids often like a simple frittata of eggs only, topped with a sprinkle of parmesan and then a little cream cheese at the end.

If the frittata is for 1 or 2 people, it usually cooks well on the stovetop over medium heat. If it starts to get a little larger, then it will take a while longer to cook through and you need to be careful not to burn the bottom. One trick I use is to cook it over medium heat until the bottom is getting a little brown and it is almost set, and then I cover the plastic handle of the frying pan with foil to protect it and pop the whole thing under the broiler to finish off the top. You can keep an eye on the bottom by gently lifting the edges of the frittata with a fork.

Fritattas are very forgiving, and you can modify them to suit your taste. To get you started, here’s my recipe for the frittata we made the other day. Now, I should confess that it was my dad who actually made the frittata. In fact he made the salad too, and brought over all the ingredients for the entire lunch. Cause he’s like that. And cause I must have done something truly great in my previous life to deserve all this full-service meal delivery. But that’s a whole other blog post. In the meantime, here’s Giorgio’s recipe. And while you’re at it, you should try his multi-purpose Cuban Sauce.

Giorgio’s Garlic Scape Frittata
Serves 6
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
¾ cup garlic scapes, chopped
8 eggs
¼ cup milk
½ cup parmesan
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground pepper

Heat olive oil in your frying pan, add diced onions and cook over medium heat until onion starts to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the scapes and cook until soft, about 5 minutes more. Beat eggs in a bowl with parmesan, milk, salt and pepper. Stir in the sautéed vegetables and pour mixture into frying pan. Cook gently until eggs are almost set and bottom is lightly browned. Check bottom by gently lifting edges with a fork. When bottom is nicely browned, place pan under broiler to cook top, covering handle of pan with foil if necessary. Broil until top is lightly browned. Slice into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature. Leftovers can be warmed in oven at 350°F.

 

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