More of a crustless quiche thanks to some delicious dairy elements!
What's the difference between quiche and frittata? Crust, for one thing. A quiche always has a crust but also always has a custard made with lots of full-fat dairy like milk or cream and some cheese. Frittata, on the other hand, often has no dairy and it certainly has no crust. This recipe includes half &half as well as some cheeses because... It's Lauren, of Course! The egg mixture is packed with tons of vegetables. Feel free to eliminate the dairy entirely, and add fresh herbs, too, if you like. The most important aspect of the recipe is the base of eggs and the technique of baking that mixture in the oven. Make this dish for an easy weeknight dinner or for brunch when company is coming. You won't miss the quiche crust, but if you do try my Garden Vegetable Quiche.
Equipment: cutting board; chef's knife; large sauté pan; wooden spoon or heatproof spatula; dry and wet measuring cups; measuring spoons; large mixing bowl; whisk; box grater; 9- or 10-inch pie dish or casserole
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red bell pepper, seeds and stem removed, thinly sliced lengthwise
1 yellow bell pepper, seeds and stem removed, thinly sliced lengthwise
1 large Vidalia onion, halved lengthwise and sliced lengthwise
1 tablespoon butter
10 large (or 8 jumbo) eggs, beaten
½ cup half & half
½ cup (drained and squeezed dry) frozen chopped spinach 1/3 cup grated Gruyere or Comté
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1. First sauté the peppers and onions. Heat a large sauté pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil to the hot pan and swirl to coat. Add the peppers and onions, sprinkle with kosher salt, and cook, stirring constantly until softened, about 5 minutes. Continue cooking for 3-4 minutes more to lightly caramelize the onions, if desired. Remove from the peppers and onions from the pan to a plate or sheet pan. Spread in a thin layer to cool. Set aside.
ILOC tip: the peppers and onions can be sautéed and stored in the refrigerator up to three days in advance of making the frittata. Never add warm items to an egg custard or it might curdle and cook before it even bakes! It's all about technique, not torture!
2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter the pie dish or casserole with the tablespoon of butter and set aside.
3. In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and half & half to blend well and make a custard. Stir in the sautéed peppers and onions, as well as the spinach and cheese. Mix well to combine. Season generously with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir to incorporate.
ILOC tip: do not whisk too vigorously or you might incorporate too much air into the eggs, which could result in bubbles in the finished product.
4. Pour the mixture in to the greased dish.
5. Bake the frittata for 30 minutes, or until set (no. longer jiggly in the center when you move the dish). Remove from the oven and let it rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving. Alternatively, after resting for 5-10 minutes, loosen the frittata from the edges of pan and slide whole onto a platter.
ILOC tip: the frittata may be made one day ahead and chilled, covered, once cool on the counter. Bring the frittata to room temperature or warm in the oven before serving.
Makes 4-8 servings.