It's a complete meal. It's easy. It's fast. It's versatile.
A frittata is simply one of the best choices when a weeknight meal needs to get on the table fast.
Think of frittatas as scrambled eggs with other ingredients mixed in. And instead of cooking it entirely on the stovetop, it gets finished under the broiler. This creates a delicious lightly browned top, especially if you toss a bit of cheese on it before popping it in the oven.
Here's how it works. Choose your flavorings. And don't overlook leftovers. Bits of chicken, ham, steak or pork are great choices. Toss in a few vegetables, especially diced onions, perhaps some peppers or asparagus, even broccoli. Saute them for a bit in the pan, then spread them evenly over the bottom.
Now add your eggs and let the whole thing cook for a few minutes without disturbing it. When the bottom starts to set, top the egg with some cheese and put it under the broiler to cook the top. It will quickly get nicely browned and puffy. And you're done.
In this recipe, oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes are a better choice than fresh, as they have little water. Don't worry about the oil clinging to the tomatoes; it serves as your cooking oil.
CHARD AND SUN-DRIED TOMATO FRITTATA
Start to finish: 20 minutes
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped oil-packed sundried tomatoes, plus a bit of oil from the jar
4 ounces sliced white button mushrooms
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chopped chard
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Heat the broiler.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and thyme. Season with salt and pepper, then set aside.
Set a large oven-safe non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tomatoes, mushrooms, onion, garlic and 2 tablespoons of the oil the tomatoes are packed in. Saute until the onions are soft and the mushrooms start to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the chard and cook until just wilted.
Spread the vegetables in an even layer over the bottom of the pan. Pour the egg mixture over them, then cook, without stirring, for 4 minutes, or until the bottom has set. Sprinkle the cheese over the top of the frittata.
Transfer the pan to the middle rack of the oven and broil until the frittata is puffed, lightly browned and firm at the center, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven and cool slightly before slicing.
Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 140 calories; 80 calories from fat (53 percent of total calories); 8 g fat (4 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 225 mg cholesterol; 7 g carbohydrate; 10 g protein; 1 g fiber; 340 mg sodium.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Food Editor J.M. Hirsch is author of the cookbook "High Flavor, Low Labor: Reinventing Weeknight Cooking." Follow him to great eats on Twitter at http://twitter.com/JM_Hirsch or email him at jhirsch(at)ap.org.