Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Spinach & Roasted Tomato Frittata

I love frittata's, but the only time I ever make them is when I do the big family breakfast at my sister's on Christmas morning while everyone is still asleep. I make them with the leftovers from our Christmas Eve appetizer party. My sister-in-law always brings the Costco cheese plate and for the last two years, my niece has taken to make what she calls an Astro Weenie Veggie Tree, cocktail weenies and bite-sized crudites skewered with decorative toothpicks onto a big foil covered styrofoam cone -it's pretty awesome but her ambition is undermined by her late-to-the-party timing. By time she's finished chopping and constructing the thing, everyone's already gotten into the sweet and sour meatballs and salami cream cheese roll ups, no one wants veggies. The next morning I deconstruct and cut up whatever is left from the sweet and sour meatballs (usually nothing) and anything else my sister has languishing in the fridge. It's always a crowd pleaser.
This is not that frittata. This is my take on a food52 recipe that showed up on my news feed awhile back, the day after the rare occasion we get leftover frittata in the breakroom at work. I thought, why don't I ever make frittata's for myself? They make great leftovers, the perfect thing to reheat with a small salad when I get home from work hungry.
I had a basket of cherry tomatoes teetering on the edge of the compost bin and it all came together. I slow roasted them. I usually always have feta in the fridge so that night I pondered the cheese selection at work and decided on the Fontina Val d'Aosta, the real deal, made in Italy~a semi-firm, raw milk full flavored cheese. All this time I'd been using fake fontina: fontina style cheese, the red waxed Danish version one finds in the supermarket. There's a big difference. Real Fontina is so much more flavorful and it's more firm than fake fontina which is downright flabby by comparison. 
True Fontina is a great snacker. I had a piece that was a little over 6 ounces. I shredded the 4 or so ounces for the frittata and "tasted" through the remaining bit that I had originally planned for my after-work grilled cheese toast, savoring bite after bite. By the time the frittata came out of the oven the rest was gone.
I love to let a little piece of cheese linger in my mouth for as long as I can. It's like candy.

Spinach & Roasted Tomato Frittata
adapted from food52

1 pound cherry tomatoes sliced in half
1 teaspoon dried thyme or oregano
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 bunch spinach chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
10 big basil leaves sliced into ribbons
7 eggs
4 ounces shredded Fontina cheese
4 ounces feta

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, toss the tomatoes with a glug of olive oil, salt, pepper and dried thyme or oregano.
  3. On a parchment lined baking sheet arrange the tomatoes, cut side up so they're not touching. spoon any remaining liquid left in the bowl on top of the cut halves, refilling any that have hollowed out during the tossing. 
  4. Roast for 30 minutes
  5. Heat oil and garlic in a 12 inch skillet over medium heat. Add the spinach and cook down until it is just wilted. Remove from heat and set aside.
  6. Whisk eggs in a big bowl. Add the cooked spinach, fontina, 3/4 of the chopped basil. salt & pepper.
  7. Pour the mixture back into the skillet, top with the tomatoes pressing them down into the mix. Sprinkle on the remaining basil and crumbled feta.
  8. Cook on the stove top, over medium heat until the bottom is just set, about 3 minutes. Slide it into the oven and cook until set, about 15-17 minutes