Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Frittatas with: Napa Cabbage, Snow Peas, Asparagus, and Beet Greens

I have been making frittatas on a weekly basis these days. A frittata is a lovely way to use up all of those vegetable odds and ends that you have at the end of the week and need to find a use for if you don't want to have to toss them. I haven't run across any vegetable that does not improve the basic mix. In addition, the vegetables will often lend themselves to use with a certain blend of spices. So far, they have always been delicious. Some have even been, if I may be so bold, transcendent. So many combinations! So little time!

Here are a few of my recent successes:

What to do with those few snow peas left over from the last batch of fried rice? Add them to a frittata with a quarter of that napa cabbage left over from the okonomiyaki made earlier in the week.

Because the ingredients were vaguely Asian, I decided to give this frittata an Asian twist as well. I used garlic ginger paste instead of just minced garlic, and I added a half a teaspoon of cumin and soy sauce. Delicious!

I still had a quarter of the napa cabbage left the next weekend, and a bunch of asparagus that I always have on hand this time of year since it is so abundantly available. A handful of dried tarragon brought everything together quite nicely for light, fresh flavor.

I had mistakenly bought some other kind of hard cheese that was nestled in among the Parmagiana Reggiano at the store. I realized my mistake the minute I started grating it. It tasted ok, but not great, but more importantly it did not melt like the parm so it was not good on top of pasta. On top of frittatas, however, it browned up under the broiler enough to make a satisfying crispy crunch when you first bite into it.

But it was still no real comparison to the real thing, which as you can see here achieves a lacy crispness that melts into that salty, nutty luxuriousness, and makes Parmagiana Reggiano one of the best cheese in my world.

This may be the best of the three. It was Thursday night and I was rummaging around the vegetable drawer to see if there was anything there I had overlooked. Sure enough, I ran into the beet greens from the beet and fennel salad I had made the week before. I opened them up with a little trepidation, but they were still good, and looked like they would make it through Saturday morning. And they did. I added just a touch of ginger, turmeric, cumin and coriander for extra flavor.

Basic recipe here.

How to make a frittata here.

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