as the green summer leaves fall from the trees, greens such as kale, chard, and spinach begin to catch my attention. a trip to the farmer’s market this weekend uncovered vibrant greens tantalizing enough to make anyone eat their vegetables. my mother introduced my sisters and me to greens early, so growing up i was always a fan of any leafy green sautéed with a little olive oil, some garlic, and a good dose of salt and pepper. however, in my dining adventures i have also come across many other ways to serve these healthy and flavorful vegetables. i’ll start with spinach this week, but check back this weekend for a delicious and easy recipe with kale.
so, spinach: FN Dish’s ingredient of the week and the ultimate green that is so nutritionally rich but so widely disliked. and it’s not always easy to prepare. i had a run-in with poorly washed spinach in a lasagna made by a friend several years ago. it left my mouth feeling gritty for a year! however, spinach is a vegetable that is worth making and eating — not only for its healthy properties but also for its earthy, refreshing taste.
in my opinion there is no better way to enjoy lots of healthy vegetables than to bake them up with some eggs and cheese for a satisfying, warm, and nutritious meal. which brings us to the world of frittatas. there are many techniques for cooking frittatas, and twice as many variations on the ingredients. they are fairly easy to cook (after a little practice), filling enough for a dinner or an excellent brunch, and a great way to use any number of vegetables, cheeses, and aromatics that you may have in your fridge. the only real trick to the technique is to make sure none of the vegetables are sticking to the pan before you pour in the eggs. this will ensure easy removal of the frittata after it’s cooked.
once you get hooked on frittatas there is no end to the combinations of ingredients you can create! to accompany the spinach this time i chose the last cherry tomatoes clinging to the vines in our garden, shallots, garlic, and a nice sharp cheddar cheese. with dishes like this, “eat your spinach” should become a tempting invitation.
spinach and cheddar frittata
4 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated
4 large handfuls fresh spinach
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
6 shallots, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and white pepper to taste
1. preheat the oven to 400°f.
2. in a large bowl, beat the eggs thoroughly with a pinch of salt and white pepper to taste, add the grated cheddar cheese, and set aside.
3. heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a 10-inch oven-proof saute pan over medium heat. once the oil is glistening, add the shallots and cook for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. add the garlic and cook until soft, about another 2 minutes.
4. add the spinach and allow to wilt, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes. add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and stir to distribute. sprinkle the cherry tomatoes into the pan, make sure nothing is sticking, and then pour in the egg and cheese mixture.
5. cook for about 3 minutes, or until the sides of the frittata begin to set. move the pan to the oven and cook for about 12 minutes, or until the center is just set and doesn’t jiggle.
6. to serve, loosen the sides and bottom of the frittata carefully with a flexible spatula. the frittata can then either be sliced and served directly from the pan, or inverted onto a plate, then inverted again onto a serving platter.
still craving more greens? check out these blogs:
What’s Gaby Cooking: Spinach-Artichoke Cups
From My Corner of Saratoga: Cannelloni Stuffed With Ricotta Spinach
And Love It Too: Bacon Infused Wilted Spinach
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Spinach-Pesto Tacos With Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
Virtually Homemade: Spinach Pepita (Pumpkin Seed) Pesto
Cooking With Elise: Spinach and Artichoke Fondue
Glory Foods: Creamed Spinach
The Sensitive Epicure: Catalan Spinach With Raisins, Pine Nuts and Bacon
FN Dish: Stuffed Spinach Recipes