Six meal-sized servings, twelve appetizer-size servings

Feel free to replace ingredients in the recipe, swapping out some cooked spinach or kale for the broccolini. Since broccolini may not be easy to find, you can use regular broccoli, cauliflower, or another lovely green, such as kale, dandelions, arugula or mustard greens. Broccolini goes by the name of tenderstem broccoli in the UK, I’m told. Broccoli raab is a close relative and could be used, as could rapini. (Check the links after the recipe if you want to learn more about them.) If you’re fortunate to live near a good farmers’ market, snoop around as you might be fortunate to find some green vegetables that lend themselves to being made into a frittata; the people who work the stands are usually very knowledgable about what they grow and how to prepare them.

Generally, about 1 1/2 to 2 cups of cooked ingredients works for this size frittata. You can add pitted olives, sauteed mushrooms, or another herb, such as dill, oregano, marjoram, or basil. Vegetarians can skip the bacon, or for others, cooked and crumbled/sliced sausage can be used in its place. I didn’t add garlic, but a few chopped cloves added to the broccolini added while it’s cooking is an option, if you wish. Want to go with seafood? Cooked shrimp or smoked salmon would be nice, and feta could stand in for the blue cheese. Whew! I think I covered everything…

Frittata is perfect picnic food because it’s just as good served cold or room temperature as it is warm. In Spain, they serve tortillas, as these are called (with potatoes) along with glasses of wine or sherry in tapas bars, as it makes a nice appetizer. I served these in wedges during meal-time, but sliced into bite-sized squares and toothpicks, they make great cocktail party fare.

3 strips (100g) bacon, preferably thick-cut, diced
8 scallions trimmed and sliced, or 1/2 red onion, peeled and diced
1/2 to 3/4 pound (225-340g) broccolini, diced, or broccoli or cauliflower
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
salt and freshly ground black pepper
olive oil
7 to 8 large eggs
3/4 to 1 cup (100-130g) crumbled blue cheese

1. Steam the diced broccolini in a steamer basket in a covered pot over barely boiling water, until tender all the way through, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

2. Put the bacon cubes in a 9- or 10-inch (23-25cm) nonstick or well-seasoned cast iron skillet. Heat the bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is crisp. Set the bacon pieces of a paper towel and drain and pour most of the bacon fat from the pan, leaving about 1 tablespoon behind.

3. Add the scallions (or onions) to the pan and cook for a few minutes, until softened. Add the steamed broccolini and thyme. Season very lightly with salt and pepper (other ingredients are salty, so go easy on the salt). Add a tablespoon or two of olive oil, cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook– stirring occasionally – until the broccolini is very soft, about 10 to 12 minutes.

4. Mix the eggs in a small bowl, seasoned with a little salt and pepper.

5. Remove the lid from the pan with the broccolini in it and stir in the bacon. Use a spatula or spoon to make sure the ingredients are in a relatively even layer then strew the crumbled cheese over the top. Pour the eggs over the ingredients, then use a utensil to encourage the eggs to get in and around all the ingredients in the pan.

6. Let the frittata cook over medium heat, undisturbed, until the bottom is browned and set. You can use a spatula to lift it up once the bottom is set to check on its progress. (Make sure it’s not burning!) It will take about 7 minutes, but might take a more or less.

7. Run a spatula around the edge of the frittata to loosen it from the pan and slide it onto a dinner plate or overturned flat pan lid, so the cooked side is on the bottom. Overturn the skillet over the frittata and quickly flip the frittata back in the pan, so the cooked side is now on top. Cook the frittata another minute or two, until the bottom is cooked. (If using a cast iron skillet, instead of flipping the frittata, you can run it under the broiler a minute or two to cook the top.)

8. Slide the frittata onto a serving plate and serve warm or at room temperature.

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March 15, 2017