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Eggs are my comfort food. When I’ve had a rough day, I eat them fried and served over buttered toast cubes. Mornings when I know I’ll need lots of energy, I eat them scrambled with grape tomatoes and avocado. And nights when I can’t imagine cooking anything ambitious, I simmer tomato puree with kale and garlic and poach two eggs per diner in the sauce.
When it comes to eggs for a crowd, I’m very fond of big egg bakes and frittatas. I have a couple favorite versions (spinach, red peppers and goat cheese is one I make a lot), but I’m always on the lookout for new ideas for add-ins and toppings.
Katie Lee’s Fridge Frittata came to my attention recently and I knew immediately that it was a recipe worth trying. She has you saute deli ham, peas and leftover french fries (oven-roasted potatoes or a handful of frozen hash browns would also work) in an oven-safe skillet. You add whisked eggs and then dollop on ricotta cheese and dabs of pesto. It puffs as it bakes and makes a glorious main dish for brunch or supper.
I particularly loved how tender and creamy the pockets of ricotta were and how the pesto added flavor and vibrant color. We ate it with a side salad and some toasted sourdough and declared it just the thing for a nearly spring Weekender.
Before you start cooking, read these tips:
— The nice thing about making a frittata is that it’s so darn flexible. Out of frozen peas? Try broccoli or spinach instead. Not eating meat? Skip the ham and add cubes of baked tofu.
— Want to make your weekday mornings easy? Make a frittata on the weekend, chill it and cut off a slice each morning.
— If your frittata is sticking to the pan, let it rest. I will often let my egg dishes cool down to nearly room temperature before slicing, to ensure that I don’t lose any bits to the pan. You can always reheat them once you’re ready to serve.
Marisa McClellan is a food writer and canning teacher who lives in Center City Philadelphia. Find more of her food (all cooked up in her 80-square-foot kitchen) at her blog, Food in Jars. Her second cookbook, Preserving by the Pint: Quick Seasonal Canning for Small Spaces, is now available for pre-order.