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.

meatless monday: latke-frittata stack, asparagus, garlic Hollandaise


Brunch for dinner.

Welcome to another installment of Meatless Monday, where butter and eggs can be the deities we should recognize them as. On this installment, we deny the supremacy of breakfast for dinner with the clearly superior brunch for dinner concept. Brunch is a time when savory entrees masquerade as morning small plates, but no more, my friends. Tonight, we bring the once a week meal to prime time. I hope you will join me on this journey. 

Also, this meal is big, tall, and bold. It’s not the brunch Mother’s Day commercials would have you believe in. This meal had the such big flavors that you definitely do not find yourself asking for sausage or bacon. It stands alone. 

At any rate: on to the food. 

Bottom tier: Latkes

2 potatoes, peeled
2 carrots, peeled
1/2 vidalia onion, finely chopped
2 eggs
Salt water bath (1/4 cup salt, quart water)
2 sprigs rosemary leaves
1/4 cup oil

Grate the potatoes on the large side of a box grater and place into salt water bath. Grate the carrot in the same fashion and place into the bath. After a few minutes, drain the potatoes and carrots with a fine colander. Place the two onto several paper towels and form a pocket. Ring as much water as possible from the mix and place into a dry bowl. Add the onions, pepper, some salt, and rosemary. Beat the egg and add to the mix. Stir until all is coated and well combined. 

Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Take an egg ring and place it on a flat surface. Fill the ring halfway with latke “batter” and press. Use a scrape shover/food mover to lift the ring off the surface. Pull the ring off the formed latke and gently slide into the hot oil. Fry about 3 minutes on each side until brown. Repeat for each one, makes about 8. 

Middle Layer: Frittata

This is just a basic frittata with veggies. Obviously, you can make it any way you like. 

10 eggs
4 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 pound baby bella mushrooms
2 stalks broccoli
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 campari tomatoes, diced
1/2 stick butter
Salt and pepper, 1/8 cup olive oil

Begin with the broccoli. Toss in olive oil and salt and pepper and 1 clove garlic. Lightly roast it at 450 for about 15-20 minutes. 

In a large non-stick pan, melt the butter. Add the mushrooms and sweat about 10 minutes. Add the remaining garlic. 

In a large bowl, beat the eggs together with 1/2 the cheese and some salt and pepper. 

Remove the broccoli from the oven and add to the pan. Using a metal spatula, chop the veggies until they can lay flat on the bottom of the pan. Add the tomatoes. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and cook for about 1 minute. Top with the remaining cheese. 

Lower the oven to 350 and cook the mix for about 12 minutes until the middle is fully cooked and set. You can use the clean fork test if you like. 

Using an egg ring of the same size as the one used for the latkes, cut plugs into the frittata and place on one latke. Top with another latke to complete the stack. 

Topping: Asparagus with Garlic Hollandaise

1 stick butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 egg yolks
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Pot of water
1/2 pound of asparagus
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp white pepper

For the Hollandaise, begin by melting the butter over medium low heat. Add the garlic. Simmer about 10 minutes. Drain  the butter through a strainer lined with a coffee filter and let it cool to room temp. 

In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks with the lemon juice until it is thick and doubles in size. Heat the pot of water to a simmer and place the egg bowl over the water, continuing to whisk. Slowly add in the butter until the mix is velvety smooth, making sure to take the butter slow to not break the sauce. Whisk over the heat for about five minutes to make sure the eggs are cooked. 

In a frying pan, add the oil and pepper and heat to medium. Add the asparagus and toss. Cover and heat about 10 minutes. Turns and heat another few minutes and remove from heat. 

Drape the asparagus over the top of the stack and ladle on the sauce. Gobble it up. 

Brunch for dinner is a wonderful thing with these steps! No need for meat when you can get big flavors with veggies, butter and garlic!

Have a good week, y’all.