I’m pretty comfortable in the kitchen. I’ve been baking and cooking since I was about six, and most of the time I don’t think twice about trying a new recipe. Generally, I like using new ingredients or new techniques – sometimes that’s half the fun of being an amateur cook.
This is one of those rare recipes that I really had to talk myself into. Yes, the frittata looked amazing, with many of my favourite ingredients. But to make it, I had to get past my fear of cooking by putting a skillet in the oven.
You see, I’m one of those people who have a bad news story about cooking with a skillet. A few years ago, I pulled a skillet out of the oven with an oven mitt, which I set down while I turned the heat off. Then, as you might guess, I instinctively tried to pick up the skillet with my bare hand to move it elsewhere.
I managed to avoid a really bad burn by immediately dunking my hand in ice water, and keeping it there off and on for the next hour. But it was still painful and blistered for longer than I’d like to recall. As a result, I’ve been very reluctant to use my skillet in the oven again.
I never did get around that fear, but this frittata sounded so amazing that I decided to put the mixture in a glass baking dish right before cooking it. It tasted delicious – one of those rare meals that everyone in my family enjoyed – and I’ve made it several times since then. So whether you have the courage to use the original instructions, or opt for the peace of mind you get from baking it in a separate dish, please don’t be afraid of this recipe.
Broccoli and Cheddar Frittata with Red Potatoes and Scallions
(adapted from Fresh & Green Table, by Susie Middleton)
1 medium unpeeled red potato, cut into small (1/2”) dice
freshly ground pepper
1 Tbsp unsalted butter (first amount)
1 Tbsp unsalted butter (second amount)
1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter (third amount)
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions (white part, and as much green as needed to make 1/2 cup)
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (first amount)
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil (second amount)
1 broccoli crown, cut into small (1”) florets, about 3 cups
7 large eggs
1/3 cup skim milk
1/3 cup heavy (whipping) cream
1/8 tsp (about 6 shakes) Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 cups extra sharp aged cheddar, coarsely grated
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Put the potatoes and 1 tsp salt in a medium saucepan, add enough water to cover by 1”, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain well and let cool for several minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and season with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper.
In a 10” ovenproof skillet, melt 1 Tbsp of the butter over medium heat. Add the green onion slices and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and starting to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to the bowl of potatoes. Return the pan to the heat and add 1 Tbsp of the butter and 1 Tbsp olive oil. Raise the heat to medium high. When the butter has melted, add the broccoli and 1/4 tsp salt. Cover and cook for 2 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring, until the florets are mostly brown on all sides and have lost much of their stiffness, 3 to 4 more minutes. Remove from the heat, let cool for a few minutes, and transfer the broccoli to the bowl of potatoes and scallions. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Wipe out the skillet.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, 1/2 tsp salt, Worcestershire sauce and several grinds of pepper. Stir in the cheese. Add the broccoli mixture and stir well.
Return the skillet to medium-high heat and add the remaining 1/2 Tbsp butter and 1 tsp olive oil. When the butter has melted and begun to sizzle, pour and scrape all the vegetable custard mixture into the skillet. Gently stir once or twice to move the contents of the pan around so everything is evenly distributed. Let the pan sit on the heat until the custard is just beginning to set, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour the custard mixture into a 10” round baking dish, and bake until the frittata is puffed, golden and set, about 25 minutes. (Or take a chance and put the skillet directly in the oven.)
Let the frittata cool in the pan for 15 to 20 minutes. The flavour gets better as it sits, so eat it warm or at room temperature, or even the next day. Cut into wedges and serve.