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Eggplant, Potato & Feta Frittata

A frittata is Italy’s version of the quiche—minus the crust.

I didn’t grow up eating frittata but I began making them when I was first married and my husband bought me a cookbooklet for vegetarians that featured a potato, asparagus, and tomato frittata on the cover. I followed that recipe for frittata only once but then I made it my own. I omitted the asparagus entirely because it made the entire dish bitter. I began using fresh potatoes instead of the frozen hash browns the original recipe called for and then I changed it again when I left the skins on the potatoes. Most importantly, I started serving sliced tomatoes on the side because cooking them on top of the frittata was like playing Russian Roulette with hot tomato lava!

Then, I started to experiment with different fillings. This is one of those happy experiments…and now it’s my go-to frittata. That is, until I start experimenting again!

For this recipe, you will need a large oven-safe skillet (no plastic handles). Although using a nonstick pan would make removing the frittata a bit easier, I don’t recommend it. Nonstick pans are not intended for high heat cooking as the coating can be damaged and flake off into the food. Besides, if you heat a regular pan long enough, it becomes nonstick…ish!

2 – 3 TBS olive oil

1 small eggplant, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces

2 small yellow potatoes, peeled or not (your preference) and cut into bite-sized pieces

½ large onion, peeled and chopped (I used a red onion but use what you like)

½ red bell pepper, chopped

1 clove of garlic, peeled and minced

1 tsp red wine vinegar

5 large eggs, beaten

½ cup milk

1 TBS fresh parsley, chopped (reserve a pinch for garnish)

1 TBS fresh chives, chopped (reserve a pinch for garnish)

Pinch of red pepper flakes

3 oz feta cheese (about 1/3 cup), crumbled (or use more if you want)

Salt & pepper to taste

1 large tomato, chopped or 4 oz grape or cherry tomatoes, halved

Pinch of salt, pepper, and dried basil

Splash (1 tsp) balsamic vinegar

Drizzle (1/2 tsp) good quality olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Heat a large, oven-safe skillet on medium. While the skillet is heating, pat the eggplant and potatoes with a lint-free towel or paper towel to remove any excess moisture. Add 2 TBS oil to the skillet and carefully add the potatoes and eggplant. Allow the vegetables to hang out—without stirring—for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown on one side. At this point, you should be able to shake the pan and have the vegetables move freely. Turn the vegetables over and brown the other side. Eggplant is like a sponge so you may have to add a bit more olive oil. Once the other side is browned, add a pinch of salt and pepper.

Add the onions and peppers to the pan. Cook for 3 minutes or until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and cook for one minute more.

Taste the vegetables and add salt and pepper if needed. Stir in the red wine vinegar.

Lower the heat to medium-low.

While the vegetables are cooking, beat the eggs well with the milk. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the parsley, chives, and red pepper flakes. Stir in the feta cheese.

Slowly pour the egg mixture over the browned vegetables until they are covered. As the frittata cooks, carefully lift its edges with a rubber spatula and slightly tilt the pan to allow a bit of uncooked egg to flow to the bottom of the pan. Cook for 5 minutes until the egg is slightly set but not cooked through.

From raw... half-cooked!

Place the skillet in the oven and cook for 10 – 12 minutes. The top will be dry but not dried out.

While the frittata is in the oven, sprinkle the tomatoes with a pinch of salt, pepper, and dried basil. Gently stir in the balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Set aside.

Carefully remove the frittata from the oven and cool for 5 minutes.

The handle of the skillet may still be hot so use a pot holder or oven mitt. Carefully hold the handle and run a rubber spatula around the edge of the frittata to loosen it. Gently shake the skillet. If the frittata seems to be sticking, gently guide the spatula under the center of the frittata until loose. Gently slide the frittata out of the pan onto a cutting board. Cut into 6 wedges. To serve, top the frittata with a spoonful of tomatoes and garnish with the reserved parsley and chives.

Don’t Freak Out!

1) Make it halal. Substitute white vinegar for the red wine vinegar.

2) Back in the day, people always salted and drained cut eggplant for ½ hour before cooking to remove any bitterness. There is no need to salt the eggplant before making this dish. Plus, if you like eggplant skin, leave it on. I normally do…unless the skin is dimpled and blemished. Also, any kind of eggplant (purple, black, speckled, white) will do. I’ve made this with many different kinds of eggplant and it’s always tasty.

3) Don’t feel like making the tomato salad? Gently heat some canned pizza or marinara sauce and serve on the side.

4) I used a deliciously stout goat and sheep’s milk feta cheese in this. Feta cheese made from cow’s milk, ricotta salata (salted ricotta), grated pecorino romano, or parmigiano reggiano would also be good in this.

5) This is good for any meal and at any temperature (hot, room, or right from the refrigerator). Because it is made from eggs, if you want to reheat it, do so gently. Put it in an oven or toaster oven set at 250 degrees for about 5 minutes, or cover it with a damp paper towel and microwave it for about 30 seconds. It won’t be piping hot but reheating it too long will result in dried-out eggs.

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