Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Broccoli Frittata

I intended to post my recipe for this frittata last week but didn't quite get around to it. So the delay means that I get to post two versions of my broccoli frittata recipe because I made another one this morning and, quite frankly, I had the opportunity to actually do some weighing and measuring instead of my usual eyeball/handful measuring.

I started off by roasting some blanched broccoli sprouts that were sitting in the refrigerator. I like to blanch my broccoli sprouts in boiling salted water for about a minute and then shock them in ice water, drain them well and dry them a bit by laying them out on kitchen towels for a while. The blanched broccoli will keep in the refrigerator for at least a week, handy for munching straight from the fridge or incorporating into any number of dishes. The blanching process is also a great way to rid the broccoli of any resident aphids.

The rest of the frittata filling can be prepared while the broccoli is roasting. This version includes some oven candied cherry tomatoes left from last year which are in the bowl shown above next to the roasted broccoli.

 A very handy, or hand sparing, gadget to have if you use a skillet in a hot oven is something like the silicone sleeve shown below that slips onto the hot skillet handle after you remove the skillet from the oven. I have seared the palm of my hand more than once when I've absentmindedly grabbed a hot skillet handle and this has been a hand saver.

The eggs from my girls vary from about medium to jumbo sized, I just use 8 eggs of all sizes, I think it generally averages out to about 8 large eggs. A standard sized large egg weighs about 2 ounces.

Broccoli Frittata

1 pound blanched or raw broccoli side shoots, or heading broccoli cut into florets
olive oil as needed
2.5 oz. sliced pancetta cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 cup (.5 oz) oven candied cherry tomatoes or chopped dried tomatoes
1/2 large sweet onion cut into slivers
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
8 eggs
salt and fresh ground black pepper
4 oz. feta, coarsely crumbled
3 sprigs fresh basil, stems removed and leaves chopped

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Toss the blanched broccoli with some olive oil and arrange on a baking sheet. Roast for 15 to 17 minutes (I used convection) until the florets are starting to brown but are not dried out. If you are using raw broccoli it will take longer to roast and you should keep an eye on it and remove it from the oven when the florets are starting brown and then seal the hot pan with some foil so that broccoli stems will finish cooking in their own heat. The broccoli stems should still be crisp-tender. When cool enough to handle, chop the broccoli into bite-sized pieces.

Cook the pancetta with a tablespoon of olive oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat until the pancetta softens and renders some of its fat. Add the onions and garlic to the skillet and continue cooking over medium-low heat until the onions are translucent. Drain the onion-pancetta mixture in a heat proof strainer over a bowl to catch the oil. Clean the skillet and return the captured oil to it and add another tablespoon of olive oil, place the skillet over medium-low heat and allow it to heat up while you assemble the egg mixture.

Beat the eggs in a large bowl, season with salt and pepper to taste, remember that the pancetta and feta are a bit salty. Stir in the chopped broccoli, onion-pancetta mixture, feta, and basil. Pour the mixture into the heated skillet spreading the contents evenly in the pan and pressing any protruding bits into the egg mixture so that they don't burn in the oven. Cook until the eggs are set around the edges of the pan and are starting to sizzle just a bit. Put the whole pan into the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the frittata is cooked through and the top is starting to brown. I don't like to use convection with the frittata because it seems to brown the edges and top too much before the center is set.

Remove the frittata from the oven and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes, this will help to release it more easily from the pan. Serve immediately or at room temperature or cold from the refrigerator.

Variation II

Follow the recipe as above but
- substitute smoked bacon for the pancetta
- use plain dried cherry tomatoes instead of oven candied tomatoes
- omit the garlic (if you choose)
- substitute a ball of buffalo mozzarella, cut into cubes, for the feta
- omit the fresh basil and use crumbled dried oregano instead


  1. Oh yum - thankyou for posting this - I especially liked the blanching out the aphids tip. I will look out for one of those sillicon handle holders too - really useful.

  2. my tongue is ready to check it's taste. Welcome your healthy recipe.

  3. Thank you so much for the idea of blanching the broccoli to get rid of the aphids. Its taken us a huge amount of time to wash off the aphids on our broccoli harvest. Yummy fritatta. Another inspiration on how to use up our broccoli harvest.

  4. Wow that sounds delicious! Wish I had some broccoli to give it a whirl, but will hold on to this to try when the fall crop is in.

  5. Frittata is so often our "go-to" meal when I can't think of anything to make for dinner! Yours looks lovely.


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