meatless monday: caramelized onion, spinach, and swiss frittata with pan-roasted okra

image1(1)Happy Thanksgiving week! I’m so thrilled to have the week off from school for the holiday, so while there is no lunchbox life this week, I’m happy to bring you this delightful frittata on Meatless Monday.

A frittata is basically a crustless quiche. It’s also kind of like an omelet except that its texture is a little different because of the broiling at the end of the cooking process. I think it’s much easier than quiche or omelets, which is why I think the frittata in an underrated food. It’s similar to a casserole: what do I have in the fridge that I need to use? Particularly for produce, frittatas can save those greens that are just about to wilt or those tomatoes that are on their last leg. Frittatas are much better in the nutrition arena, however, because of their high protein content. While casseroles rely on creamy soups and cracker crumbs to hold all of the ingredients together, frittatas use the magic of eggs to envelop the other ingredients and hold them in a protein-rich form. Oh, and the cheese. So much cheese. But we’re not eating any pie crust, so we can have more cheese, right?

In this frittata, I used farm fresh eggs from The Dirt Farmers, our beloved CSA. I also used some beautiful spinach from last week’s CSA box. I caramelized some onions earlier in the day because I had the time to let them simmer in butter, but you could certainly saute some onions if you’re shorter on time. You could also sub in many different veggies or cheeses; this is the beauty of the frittata. Find what you need to use up, then make it sing with some eggs.

I served this frittata with some tasty pan-roasted okra. It’s so easy: slice okra lengthwise. Heat some olive oil and spices (I used herbs de provence, garlic powder, salt, and pepper) over medium heat, then crank it up to high right before you add the okra. Stir to coat the okra, then let it cook for about 5 minutes, giving it a quick stir a few times throughout the cooking process. Much like oven roasted okra, the char on the pods is so delicious and is a nice contrast to the pillowy frittata. It’s also much better for you than a crispy starch (fries, sweet potatoes, etc.).

image2(1)Caramelized Onion, Spinach, and Swiss Frittata

Serves 4

3 onions, peeled, halved, and sliced into half moons*

3 Tbsp. butter

4 cups fresh spinach (if not baby spinach, tear into bite-size pieces)

1 Tbsp. olive oil

6 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese (I used Jarlsberg, which is actually Norwegian)

1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

salt and pepper

*Melt the butter in a medium size pan over medium heat. Add the onions, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Toss the onions to coat them in the butter, then cook for about an hour, tossing the onions every 10 minutes or so. If you’re short on time, use only 1 onion and 1 Tbsp. butter and cook over medium high heat for about 10 minutes. If you have the time, however, go for the caramelized onions–the slow cooked taste is amazing. Set aside.

Turn on the broiler function in your oven. In an oven-safe omelet pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat, then add the spinach in batches. As it wilts, you can add more. Next, add the caramelized onions to this pan and stir to distribute evenly. Top with the swiss cheese, then pour the beaten eggs over the mixture. Let this cook and set up for about 3-4 minutes. Next, add the parmesan cheese on top and place pan under the broiler for about 5 minutes. Take out and let cool for about 5 minutes, then cut into fourths. Serve with a green vegetable for a light green salad.

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