We have an awesome Saturday breakfast routine at our house. There’s the leisurely brewing of coffee or espresso, which my sweet husband often brings to me in bed, and then we’ll make some sort of diner style breakfast together. Usually, there’s bacon or sausage involved, and of course, we make home fries. But alas, the weekend is fleeting, and soon the blaring of my alarm signals that another week has begun.
Our Saturday morning routine stands in stark contrast to our weekday routine. I don’t know about you, but on a busy weekday morning, the last thing I feel like doing is getting out of bed early to make a rushed breakfast. However, I often end up waking up at 5:30 am with my husband to make him a quick fried egg on toast, so he doesn’t have to buy fast food on his way to work. As for me, I’ll skip breakfast altogether (unless there is left over thai take-out in the fridge – is that weird?) and gulp a giant cup of coffee. Later, I’ll absentmindedly wonder why I feel weird and have the shakes. It took me longer than it should have to figure out why, folks. Not the brightest when it comes to self care over here.
I came to realize that I am much more likely to eat breakfast on a week day when I have something prepared ahead of time. It’s definitely not something I do all the time, although there are some weeks that I am better at meal prep than others. Eating a breakfast that you prepared ahead is a more pleasant start to your morning, and a great way to reduce weekday morning stress. One of our go-to make ahead breakfasts is a frittata. While a frittata is a lovely weekend or brunch meal, it’s also extremely convenient to cut a slice and pack it up to eat later. I usually cut a slice for my husband, maybe throw in a piece of fruit and some toast, and he has a nice breakfast to bring to work. Or, even better, I pack this the night before and I stay in bed until the dogs bark in my face and demand to go out.
Anyway, back to breakfast. Another great thing about a frittata is that it’s an excellent way to clean out your fridge. You can chop up some extra sausage from last night’s dinner, or slice a zucchini that needs to be used before it goes bad. Nobody likes throwing away food, especially organic produce from the farmer’s market that you neglected to use last week! On this particular day, as I cleaned out my fridge, I found a lone potato, a partially sliced tomato, a small onion and a clove of garlic. I also had some small basil leaves from the drooping plant on my front stoop. It all went in to my frittata. Once you understand the basics of making a frittata, you won’t need a recipe. You can add whatever you want, and you won’t need to worry about breakfast for a few days!
What you’ll need:
- A cast iron skillet (This is a must have for any kitchen. Ilana is thinking about writing an ode to or a love story about hers.)
- Olive oil
- 5 Eggs
- One small onion
- A small clove of garlic
- Half a medium zucchini
- One small potato
- A quarter of a large tomato
- A few leaves of fresh basil
- Dried Seasonings, such as oregano and parsley
Start by assembling your ingredients and chopping them up. A trick to making your potato cook faster is to slice it thin, put it in a microwave safe bowl, toss the slices in olive oil, cover the bowl with a paper towel, and microwave it for 3 minutes. You can test the potatoes with a fork after and microwave it a little bit longer if you need to.
Near the end of your chopping, heat your skillet on your stove top’s medium setting. Do not put anything in your skillet while it heats. This way, your eggs will not end up stuck to the skillet at the end. My mother-in-law taught me the hot pan, cool oil trick, and it works every time! Say it to yourself and remember it always. At this time, you’ll also want to put your oven on the broil setting.
Once your pan is heated, drizzle in some olive oil and add your onions and garlic. Once the onions seem to be getting soft, add your zucchini and microwaved potatoes. Add a few scattered pinches of oregano and parsley. My oregano has a convenient sprinkle top!
While your veggies are cooking, crack five eggs into a bowl and beat them together.
Make sure your veggies are spread evenly throughout your skillet, and then pour the egg mixture on top.
Sprinkle on the salt sparingly, and the pepper generously.
Once the eggs start to cook and pull away from the sides of the skillet, nestle in your thinly sliced tomatoes evenly throughout the pan, and cut a few leaves of basil into ribbons over the eggs and veggies.
Next, put your cast iron skillet in the oven for 3-5 minutes. You can check to see if the top looks slightly browned, and if the eggs look cooked.
Once your skillet is out of the oven and cools a little bit, you can either loosen the sides with a knife and invert your frittata onto a plate, or cut it into slices and package it up ahead of time. That is the exciting thing about hot pan, cool oil. Anything is possible.
Enjoy your yummy frittata and cleaned out fridge!