Frittata is an egg-based Italian dish similar to an omelette but with added ingredients such as cheese, meat and vegetables. The word "frittata" is derived from fritta and roughly translates to "egg-cake". It is also very similar to the Spanish 'tortilla de patatas', which is a thick egg omelette made with potatoes and onions.

Frittata (with asparagus, potatoes and goat milk cheese)

The difference between a frittata and a traditional omelette is the frittata is served open-faced like an egg-pizza. It is not folded over like an omelette to enclose its contents, but rather it is either turned over or even baked in the oven. A frittata always contains additional ingredients that are cooked in the skillet and combined with the raw egg mixture, rather than being laid over the nearly-cooked egg mixture before it is folded as in an omelette. Also, a frittata is cooked over a very low heat, slower than an omelette and is usually also baked for several minutes or grilled briefly to set the top layer. Unlike an omelette which is served whole, a frittata is served divided into sliced wedges and can be served hot, warm, at room temperature or even cold.

The range of possible ingredients for a frittata is limitless; from broccoli, potatoes, zucchinis, onions, asparagus, mushrooms, leeks, peppers, spinach, etc. A frittata is quite the versatile dish as it can be served for breakfast, lunch or for dinner accompanied with a salad.

A frittata is also an excellent quick meal, as long as you have a few vegetables and any cheese on hand. It's also a great way to use up leftovers, from cooked pasta to any cooked or raw veggies to throw together in a skillet and you have a frittata on the table in 20-30 minutes.

One frittata makes roughly six servings.  Don't worry the leftover frittata is nearly as good as when it's straight from the oven. Many people actually believe that the flavour of a frittata improves as it sits. 

Below is a recipe for a potato, onion, asparagus frittata using one of Quebec's finest little artisan goat-milk cheese, the Chèvre À Ma Manière. I love it. Hope you like it.

Chèvre À Ma Manière, Potato & Asparagus Frittata Recipe

-  2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound of potatoes (peeled and cut into 1/4-to-1/2-inch cubes)
- 1 small onion, or more to taste, chopped
- 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
-  4 to 6 eggs (depending on how many servings you need, or if you prefer more veggies than egg)
- 1 Chèvre À Ma Manière cut into small cubed pieces (if substituting with another cheese you can use 1/2 cup to 1 cup of grated cheese)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- For additional flavour to your frittata you can add fresh herbs or spices. Either chopped fresh basil, parsley, rosemary, turmeric or tarragon can be added to your vegetables when cooking.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 10-inch heavy ovenproof skillet, preferably non-stick or cast-iron, generously with oil, about 1 to 2 tablespoons. It is recommended to use a cast-iron pan or an oven-safe non-stick skillet. If you are using a stainless steel pan, you'll need extra oil to make sure the eggs don't stick to the pan, but remember it must be oven safe.

Peel potatoes and cut them into 1/4-to-1/2-inch cubes.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; cook and stir the cubed potatoes in the hot oil until the potatoes begin to brown lightly, about 10 - 12 minutes. Add your onions and cook another 4 more minutes. Season the frittata with salt, pepper and herbs. Add the asparagus and continue cooking until the asparagus is tender, another 5 to 7 minutes;

If you're in a rush you may want to shred your potatoes instead of cutting them in cubes, to save time on cooking the potatoes in the skillet. Or you can also save time by boiling your potatoes.(Put the diced potatoes in a pot, cover with cold water, about an inch above the top of the potatoes. Cook over medium-low heat, until the potatoes are tender but not falling apart, 5 to 7 minutes; drain and pat dry. If using boiled potatoes you will add the cooked potatoes to your frittata only after any uncooked veggies that you include have been cooked. Add potatoes, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes begin to brown slightly, cook about 4 minutes more in the skillet.) You will be saving time but your potatoes will be missing that little crispy crunch.

Whisk together eggs, salt, pepper, herbs or spices (optional) in a large bowl. Eggs for frittata should be beaten vigorously to incorporate more air than traditional omelettes, to allow a deeper filling and a fluffier result.

Evenly pour the egg mixture over the vegetable mixture in the skillet. Cook, over medium heat, tilting the pan and lifting the edges with a spatula to let the uncooked egg flow underneath. Cook 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce heat and cook, covered, until it appears mostly set with a moist center and top. Add cheese to top of frittata and cook covered for 3 to 5 minutes more. 

Remove lid and place the skillet in the pre-heated oven for approx. 5 to 8 minutes. Until the eggs puff and are set in centre and the cheese is golden brown.

Remove from oven and cut in 6 to 8 wedges. Serve straight from the skillet.

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