Sunday, August 2, 2009

Easy dinner

Everyone has, or should have, a few meals that can be assembled and cooked quickly, easily, and without a recipe, for those nights when you'd rather not cook or you get home late. One of my favorites is a frittata. It can be vegetarian or not, dairy-free or not, depending on your preferences and what's hanging around in your refrigerator.

Pictured is tonight's dinner - a spinach-summer squash frittata topped with a few bell pepper rings. These freeze well and make excellent leftovers for lunches. I've tried various ways of cooking these - stovetop, oven, and both, and I've found no textural or flavor differences, but I prefer this method for ease. In the summer, I bake in a toaster oven in the garage to avoid roasting us all out of the house.

The 30-minute baking time is sufficient to prep a salad and clean the dishes generated in cooking, so cleanup is quick after dinner, too.

Frittata (6 servings)

5 large eggs

vegetables, sliced thinly (tonight's used 1/2 pound frozen spinach and 1 medium crookneck squash - onions, potatoes (in small cubes), asparagus and green beans work well also. I almost always use spinach, though.)

optional: cheese (I usually don't add)

Oil a pie plate and preheat oven to 350F. Saute the vegetables (if using potatoes, start these earliest, and cook until done) in a small amount of olive oil until most of the moisture is removed. Add seasonings as desired.

Beat the eggs until your arm is really tired. Put the vegetables into the pie plate and then pour the eggs on top. Using a fork, gently move the vegetables around here and there to mix in the eggs. Make a design on top if desired, with pieces of pepper, asparagus, thinly sliced carrots, etc.

Bake for about 30 minutes, or until eggs are thoroughly cooked and the frittata is beginning to brown, at 350F. Serve with salsa or ketchup if desired.

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