I took a risk while preparing this recipe. No where did it say to add a huge amount of fresh spinach to anything. I took that upon myself. Knowing that this vegetable cooks down quite a bit, I was very curious to see what would happen if I added a four inch thick, tightly bound, cluster of baby spinach to the other ingredients. Luckily, things turned out my way. You’ll see what I’m talking about in the photos below. Honestly, I really didn’t think things were going to turn out so well.
This is an extremely versatile spring vegetable frittata recipe. It’s simple enough to add tomatoes, chard, spinach or any other leafy green you think would go well with eggs, feta and pepper. I chose to limit myself to spinach, but trust me, when our garden begins to give us some produce later on in the summer, strange and exciting frittata recipes will be created (and shared).
Recipes like this generally include some measurement of salt. I chose not to add any because of the sodium content of the feta cheese. After all, I added 12 ounces, so I felt that we had all the salt we could handle. Also, I think the distinction between ingredients with no salt and ingredients with salt is pleasant. I enjoy working through things like that as I’m trying a dish.
FYI – The sodium content of 1 cup of feta cheese is 1,674 mg, or 69% of the recommended daily value.
Also, be warned, if you’d like to attempt a recipe like this where there are lots of greens, you may want to cook them down first before adding them to the egg mixture. After slicing a few pieces and plating them, I did notice some liquid at the bottom of my cast iron skillet. It wasn’t all that much, but it could have been prevented by either cooking down the spinach and letting the liquid evaporate or cooking down at least half of it. Perhaps next time I make something like this, I’ll take that into consideration. This preparation was to merely get my feet wet. I was also going for a very particular look, which I think I achieved.
12 Large Eggs
2 Cups Heavy Cream
1 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
Large Bunch of Baby Spinach, Swiss Chard and/or Kale
12 Ounces Feta Cheese
3 Large Ripe Tomatoes
2 Tablespoons Pure Olive Oil
I think the two most flavorful aspects of this dish are the feta and the red pepper flakes. Be sure not to skip these two ingredients, as they’ll be sure to separate this frittata from many others.
Before you begin anything else, go ahead and pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.
Prepare Egg Mixture
In a large bowl, combine the 12 large eggs, the 2 cups heavy cream, the 1 teaspoon ground black pepper and the 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes.
Prep Spinach, Tomato & Feta
In smaller bowls, prep the other ingredients. Begin with the baby spinach by first washing and spin drying it and tearing it or cutting it to reduce its cumbersome size. Store in a bowl for later use.
Go ahead and core and slice the 3 large tomatoes and store them in a bowl for later use.
Finally, crumble the 12 ounces of feta cheese and store in another bowl for later use.
Combine All Ingredients
Add the spinach, tomatoes and feta cheese to the large bowl that holds the egg mixture. Combine all the ingredients well.
Now, as you can see from the photo above, there’s a lot of spinach. This made me nervous, but when I remembered how much the eggs in any frittata puff up as they cook and how much spinach cooks down, I went with it. Don’t worry about what things look like at this point.
Oil Skillet & Add Ingredients
Add 2 tablespoons of pure olive oil to a 12″ cast iron skillet. Swirl the oil around to coat almost all the way up the sides. Then, pour the ingredients from the large bowl into the skillet. Push down whatever is sticking up with a spatula.
If that last step didn’t make you nervous, this one probably does. Don’t worry. Just think about how good this frittata is going to taste.
Over medium heat on your stove top, cook the frittata for a few minutes until the sides begin to firm up. Don’t overdo it at this step. You merely want to get the ball rolling for the next one.
After that’s finished, add the skillet to the center rack of the oven and cook between 25-30 minutes or until you see the top of the eggs begin to brown. A few minutes in, the spinach will cook down, so you’ll be able to see much better after that. When it’s finished cooking, remove from oven, let cool for a few minutes, cut and serve.
The Final Dish
As you can see, the spinach did, indeed, cook down and actually gave this dish quite a rustic look. I was pleasantly surprised at this. If this summer is kind to our garden, I think I’ll be very pleased with the variety of ingredients I’ll have the opportunity to experiment with. There’s nothing like preparing a dish like this in a cast iron skillet.
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